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Full text of "Early history of the Catholic Church in Oceania. With introd. by John Edmund Luck"

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HucfelanN . Z. : 




The aim of iJie Translator hay been, not to (/ice a polished and 
elegant cersion of the " Diary, " but to adhere as closely, as the difference 
in the idiom of the two languages would permit, to the homely and 
familiar style of the liiyht Reverend Author. How far he has been 
successful in his attempt ntu*t be left to the judgment of those who 
hace had the opportunity of reading the " Diary " in the original. 


Jntvob action. 


ri HE early history of peoples and of places has a special interest of 
its own. Oftentimes, however, owing to the scanty, or, it may be, the 
unreliable records that are to hand, the historian is not in possession 
of many of those facts and circumstances which, if of no great intrinsic 
importance, are nevertheless the key to many a result and feature, 
self-evident, indeed, in their present and actual existence, but veiled 
in uncertainty as to their source and origin. 

The same remark is applicable to the early history of the Church, whether 
we speak of the Church as a whole, or whether we restrict our investigations 
to the origin, rise, and growth of the Church in any particular portion of the 
globe. It would be instructive and interesting to show how if we wish to 
get behind the Christian era sacred history has such a decided superiority over 
profane history that, with the exception of the comparatively short period of 
the historical times of Athens and Rome, the early history of the peoples of 
the earth is lost in fable and oblivion. It is only in the inspired books of the 
Old Testament that we find any authentic and reliable records of the infancy 
of the human race through the early history of that chosen people of God 
the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that people who, under the 
providence of God, was singled out to be the favoured recipients of His favours, 
of His mercy, of His predilection, and why . because this was the people who 
were in the fulness of time to realise the promise of the future Redeemer made 
to our first parents themselves ; because the synagogue was the type and figure 
of the Church ; because, as St. Paul intimates, every ceremony, every sacrifice, 
every prominent personage under the dispensation of " the law," received its 
meaning, its significance, its importance, from the future Messias whom they 
foreshadowed, to whom they referred, round whom they were grouped as the 
centre of "grace." To follow up this vein of thought would, however, take me 
too far away from my immediate purpose. I am not now engaged in writing 
an introduction to the history of the Jewish people; neither am I concerned 
with the ecclesiastical history of any people or country that can trace its origin 
to apostolic times or can claim any time-honoured and illustrious career in the 


general history of the Catholic Church : my enterprise is much more modest and 
less difficult. 

We are celebrating in the present year (1888), in New Zealand, an anniver 
sary which completes the first jubilee or quinquagenarian period of the youthful 
existence of the Catholic Church in this young colony of the British Empire. 
Here all is new all fresh and modern so far as the history of this development 
of the enduring life of the Mother Church is concerned -though, of course, I 
allude not to the mission, to the teaching, to the methods of the Church ; these 
are old, because unchangeable. 

The publication, therefore, of this " Early History of the Catholic Church in 
New Zealand," is exceedingly appropriate, and will form an acceptable souvenir 
of the jubilee we are joyfully celebrating of the first planting of the Faith in this 
colony. The appropriateness, and, I will add, the interest of this publication, is 
all the more apparent when we advert to the circumstances of the authorship. 
The narrative is written, or rather compiled, from the pages of a diary, written at 
snatches and intervals, under a curious variety of time, place, and circumstance, 
by the Apostolic Bishop himself, to whom the work of planting the mustard seed 
of the Faith in these lands was entrusted by the Vicar of Christ, it is the 
Right Reverend John Baptist Francis Pompallier, and of which he is both the 
author and the hero. It was never his idea, much less his intention, that the 
sketch he penned should be presented to the public in its present form. It is 
true that he himself published a small history of. his missionary labours in New 
Zealand in 1848, which contains not only the substance of this his earlier produc 
tion, but also some interesting details and documents relative to the first outbreak 
of hostilities between the Maoris and the colonists. But what his first 
production lacks in point of matter is made up for in its details, and in what I 
may term its raison d etre, inasmuch as it was penned by the zealous pioneer of 
the Faith on the occasion of his presenting to the Holy See the report which it is 
usual for every bishop to make of the actual state of their dioceses when making 
their visit ad liniina. In Bishop Pompallier s case, this first pastoral visit to 
Rome, the centre of Catholic unity, took place just ten years after his nomination 
to the Apostolic Vicariate of Western Oceania, namely, in 1840. The publication 
now placed before the public is only a, portion of Bishop Pompallier s report 
which in its original form comprises three distinct parts. The first of these is the 
history here reproduced ; the second is a financial statement in connection with 
the whole of the vast Vicariate he administered ; whilst the third part takes the 
form of an exhaustive essay on the Divins right of bishops to govern the flock 
that has been committed to their care, and to receive the obedience of the clergy, 
both secular and regular, who are engaged in the care of souls in his diocese. 
This last part had special reference to a controversy that had been carried on 
between himself and M. Favre, the Superior-General of the Marist Fathers at 
Lyons, and which terminated in his severing his connection with the Society of 
Mary. It does not devolve upon me to criticise or pass judgment on the action 


of the zealous prelate in this matter ; suffice it to say that, as of old in the case of 
Abraham and Lot, so also in his case a separation was effected between himself 
and the Marist Missionaries, the latter retiring under Bishop Viard to the newly- 
formed Diocese of Wellington, Bishop Pompallier himself remaining in the 
principal scene of his former labours, in the Province of Auckland. This was 
doubtless the natural selection that Bishop Pompallier would make, because from 
the first day he set foot in New Zealand up to the date of the dismemberment of 
the Apostolic Vicariate of Western Oceania, and the contemporaneous erection of 
the two residential Episcopal Sees of Auckland and Wellington, Auckland had 
been the headquarters and the centre of all his labours as Vicar Apostolic. 
Certain, however, it is that the exodus of the Marist Fathers from the Diocese of 
Auckland was an important factor in the decline of the prosperity of the Church 
amongst the native population. I say that it was an important factor ; but it was 
not the only factor in the blighting and withering phase that afterwards destroyed 
so much that was promising amongst the Catholic Maoris of Ne\v Zealand. The 
disquiet, the dispersion, the breaking up of native and European settlements, 
consequent upon the declaration and continuation of hostilities between the two 
races these were also the but too fatal causes that wrought such havoc in the 
Maori missions of the Diocese of Auckland. May it please Almighty God in His 
mercy, even at this eleventh hour, to renew the " right spirit," to re-enkindle the 
affections, to restore the ardour that once signalised the faithful Maoris in the 
early days of the Church in New Zealand under the fostering and devoted care 
of the Marist Missionaries, now that again the same arduous task but more 
difficult of attainment now than then has been taken up with promising earnest 
ness and zeal by the Fathers of St. Joseph s Missionary Society. May the 
blessing of Providence attend the labours and self-sacrifice of all the Maori mis 
sionaries on this the opening of the second half of the first century of the Church 
in New Zealand, so that when fifty years hence the centennial celebrations will 
be joyfully held, not the least of the glories and achievements of the Church then 
to be commemorated may be the conversion to the unity of the Faith of a race 
whose intelligence and devotedness make it worthy of a nobler destiny than that 
of extinction, and deserving of more promising results than have hitherto been 
attained from its contact with Protestant civilisation. The Maori people, under 
the guidance of the Catholic Church, would have made and, please God, will 
still make a glorious conquest to the cause of civilisation and religion. Enough, 
however, on this absorbing theme. 

I would wish to leave on record a detail that is not mentioned in Bishop 
Pompallier s history. He narrates that on the second day after his arrival 
on the shores of New Zealand, at Hokianga, he offered up the Holy Sacrifice 
of the Mass in the house of a " Catholic Irishman." The staunch son of St. 
Patrick here alluded to, but whose name is left unrecorded, was Mr. Thomas 
Poynton, and who at the time of my penning this introduction is still living, at a 
very advanced age, at Takapuna, near Auckland. His retentive memory would 
still furnish many interesting incidents of the early history of the Church in New 


Zealand, and his testimony would not only corroborate, bat supply frc-sh proof 
also, of what the author narrates relative to the bigotry and persecuting spirit 
that was manifested by some of the Protestant ministers against the Catholic 

/ O 

Bishop and his companions 

Bishop Pompallier states that he was the first priest of the true God that 
ever offered up the Holy Sacrifice in the forest-clad regions of New Zealand. 
Donbts have been expressed whether possibly the missionary pioneers of Australia 
in the persons of its first venerated Prelate the Most Rev. Dr. Folding, O.S.B , 
or his indefatigable Vicar-General, the now retired veteran Bishop of Birming 
ham, the Right Rev. W. B. Ullathorne, O.S.B., may have sanctified our soil by the 
unheeded and unknown celebration of the sacred mysteries. So far as careful 
investigation has served to throw light on this point this conjecture took its rise 
from the simple fact that the vessel conveying these apostolic men to or from 
Australia touched on these shores, but the celebration of mass seems to be simply 
a surmise, an anticipation of a possible event which is neither probable in itself 
nor based as a matter of fact, on any sufficient authority. 

I will draw these introductory remarks to a close by subjoining a tabular 
comparison between the actual state of the Catholic Church in New Zealand in 
the present year 1888 with its first beginnings in 1838.* The comparison will 
prove both interesting and instructive. The figures relative to the general 
population and the number of Catholics and of Maoris are taken from the Govern 
ment census returns of 188G. 

In conclusion, I would remark that if the literary merit of the translation of 
Bishop Pompallier s records should be deemed by some to be defective it must be 
borne in mind that it has been undertaken by a foreigner, and therefore all due 
allowance will be made by the leader for any idiomatic peculiarities that may be 


Bishop of A ucklaiuL 


March 17th, 1SSS. 

For Table referred to See Appendix, 




History <>f the Apostolic Vir.-uiate It.-s Origin I Ian of tl\e Vicariate in the Western 1 aeiMc 

Ocean Its Extent. 

HIS history contains the narrative of farts which niav prove singularly interest 
ing to science and piety : nevertheless. I am unable to write all the details 
which could be told of the apostolate of the Catholic Church in the Western 
Pacific Ocean. To do this would occupy too much time, would necessitate my 
writing several volumes, and composing a considerable work, so rapidly have facts 
and events succeeded each other and accumulated during the ten years which have 
just passed. What 1 am about to write will be a history touching slightly on the 
voyages and works of the first three years, and an abridgment of the principal events 
of the following years. Each missionary station that I have been enabled to found and 
direct would in itself furnish interesting matter enough for a separate history. 1 shall 
limit myself to speaking of what I myself have witnessed, and to saying a few words 
of the part which God caused me to take in the works, trials, difficulties, and successes 
of this Apostolic Yicariate. Hereafter, if the work I have in hand and time should 
permit, I will willingly write a complete history of the whole mission. The details 
which I am about to write will show the foundation and the development of the Church 
during the earlier years. These, with an analysis of the principal events of later times 
and the statistics of all the missionary stations, will give a very substantial idea of the 

It was in the octave of Pentecost, 183;"), that the Apostolic Vieariateof the Western 
Pacific Ocean was erected by our Holy Father the Pope, Gregory the XVI. of venerable 
memory. From that moment the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda devoted itself 
to securing the success of the project of His Holiness. Tt set itself to find among the 
clergy of the various Catholic nations priests with a vocation for foreign missions, 
from amongst whom might be selected a Bishop as Vicar Apostolic, who would 
commence to labour in this mission, so new and so far remote. The Sacred Congre 
gation cast their eyes on the French clergy, more particularly on those of the Diocese of 
Lyons. A Primatial Canon named M. Pastre lived in this city at that period, who for a 
space of nearly twelve years had filled the position of Apostolic Prefect in the island of 
Bourbon, but who had been forced to relinquish it through failing health. To him, 
then, the first addresses of the Propaganda were made ; they begged of him to accept as 



soon as possible the charge of the Apostolic Vicariate of the mission in the Western 
Pacific Ocean, and to have an interview with the Ordinaries of Lyons and the 
neighbouring dioceses, in order to choose individuals to complete the mission. M. 
Pastre, owing to his advanced age and continued ill-health, being unable to accept the 
charge that was offered to him, begged Monseigneur de Pins, at that time Archbishop of 
Amasie, and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Lyons, to seek amongst the 
members of his numerous clergy someone who could replace him, as well as several 
other priests who might be enabled to respond to the wishes of the Holy See. His 
Lordship, tilled with a holy zeal for the Faith, and aware of the reasons which forbade 
M. Pastre to accept the new Apostolic Vicariate, hastened to reply to the Sacred 
Congregation, and occupied himself with one of his vicars and M. Pastre in choosing 
live or six priests who would consent to dedicate themselves to the labours of the 
proposed mission, about to be started under the high and immediate authority of the 
Holy Father by Propaganda. My consent to become a party to the projected work was 
asked at the suggestion of Monseigneur de Pins, and my name was taken down to be 
sent to the Holy Congregation At the same time T received orders from His Grace 
to employ myself on my side in completing the number of persons for the new mission 
required by the .Sovereign Pontiff . 

At this period I had been for seven years a fellow labourer with some fifteen 
ecclesiastics who belonged to the Diocese of Lyons; some of them, however, were of the 
Diocese of I elley, which had been separated from that of Lyons after the restoration 
of the Bourbons in France. We formed as it were a kind of society with kindred inten 
tions as to projects and works, that is, so far as was practicable among priests who 
were not independent, but were all subject to their respective diocesan authorities. 
Our aim was to labour for the work of the Faith by maintaining colleges, by the 
exercise of the priestly ministry, and above all, by labouring for foreign missions. 
This species of ministry necessarily required for those persons who were called to it, a 
delegation from the Holy See, which has spiritual jurisdiction over the whole globe. 
Our association being merely diocesan, under two ordinaries and without any head, 
naturally suffered in its action and development ; each bishop claiming, according to 
the canons of the Church, ecclesiastical authority over the priests under his own juris 

Under these circumstances, His Grace the Archbishop of Amasie employed me in 
seeking for priests with a vocation for foreign missions. Naturally enough, and even at 
the express desire of His Grace, I turned to my brethren of the Society of Mary, since 
we had always cherished the desire of labouring in foreign missions. Sever;,! of 
these priests had no hesitation in consenting to the propositions made them, and in 
sending in their names to Monseigneur de Pins, who was in correspondence with the 
Congregation at Propaganda, and who was to bring them under its notice. Though 
not numerous at that time, we were able to furnish the number of persons demanded by 
the Holy See for the mission to the Western Pacific Ocean. 

Two motives induced myself and several well-disposed priests of the Archdiocese of 
Lyons to enrol for this mission the members of the Society of Mary, then only in a 
state of formation. Firstly, to make the society known to the Holy See, and secondly, to 
secure for the newly-proposed mission individuals not only to commence it, but a 
nursery, as it were, for future missionaries, who would form a spiritual posterity to 
succeed the first workers. These ideas were speedily communicated to all the members 
of the infant society to some by personal visits, to others by means of letters. Two 
priests of the Diocese of Lyons, M. Servant and M. Bataillon, and two others of the 
Diocese of Beliey, M. Chanel and M. Bret, were definitively admitted to the mission. 
Their names, together with my own, were left with the Archbishop, and Monseigneur 
de Pins sent them without delay to the Holy Congregation of the Propaganda. An 
immediate correspondence ensued between that Congregation and His Grace favouring 
the infant society of the Marists. The result to all these communications with the 
Holy See about the Mission of Oceania was, to my great surprise, a formal demand 


from His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda that I should repair to Koine, 
there to receive instructions with all the spiritual powers requisite for this mission, and 
afterwards the Episcopal consecration, with the charge of Vicar Apostolic of Oceania. 
Shortly afterwards, Pope Gregory XVI. issued several briefs one for the Vicar Apostolic 
just named and another for the Society of Mary. This brief gave to the latter the 
power to elect a Superior-General, to give the simple religious vows, and to take in. 
hand the preparing of persons for the mission which was being formed under the 
immediate jurisdiction of the Vicar Apostolic. 

All this correspondence of the Archbishop of Lyons with the Holy Congregation 
commenced toward the month of August, 1835, and terminated towards the month of 
May, 1836, when I was sent to Koine as had been demanded l>y His Eminence Cardinal 
Fransoni, Prefect of the Propaganda. 

In this holy city I received the dispensations, instructions, and spiritual powers 
necessary for the Apostolic Vicariate in the Western Pacific Ocean. According to the 
decision of the Holy See regarding this mission, all that was connected with 
ecclesiastical and pastoral jurisdiction was concentrated exclusively in the hands of 
the Vicar Apostolic, and all that concerned the observance of their rule as religious was 
confided to the Superior-General of the Society of Mary for the persons lie provided for 
this mission. 

According to the correspondence which had passed between the Holy Congregation 
of the Propaganda and His Grace the Archbishop de Pins, the Apostolic Vicariate 
extended only to the archipelagoes and islands of the western part of the Southern 
Ocean that is, in latitude from the equinoctial line to the end of the inhabited lands 
of the south, and in longitude from the Society Islands, exclusively, to the furthest 
islands of Polynesia to the west, excepting such as \\ere already constituted under 
canonical authority by the Holy See. .But after my Episcopal consecration, w .iich 
took place at Koine on the clay of the commemoration of St. Paul, . 50tli .June, 1<*<36, 
His Holiness Gregory XVI. thought it better, notwithstanding my remarks, to add to 
these first limits of jurisdiction the northern pait of Oceania above the line and 
in the same proportions of longitude, and with the same reservations as those already 



Equipment and Departure of the Mission The King of France grants his Protection 

Departure from Havre Perils of Navigation from the Start Departure from Teneriftb 

Stoppages en route, and Arrival and Stay at Valparaiso. 

JAVING been iidinitted on several occasions to audience witli our Holy Father 
the Pope, and having received special marks of his goodness and his Pontifical 
blessing, 1 started on my return to France, in order to commence there, active 
preparations for the departure of the mission, the prompt execution of -which was 
earnestly desired by His Holiness. Ft was the end of July, 1 83G, that T left Kome. 
With the assistance received from the Holy Congregation and the Association for tin- 
Propagation of the Faith, I was enabled to attend to all preparations for the voyage of 
the mission. 

I remained at Lyons for a short while to make a retreat with the Aiarist priests. 
Then I took with me the four priests whose names had been sent to the Propaganda 
and which we have already given, and to these were added three lay religious members 
of the same society to aid us in our labours. We were eight in all, consecrated to the 
mission at its first beginning. Our embarkation en the ocean was to be made at Havre 
de Grace, on a French vessel called the DeljJiinc, on board of which I had secured 
passages from the agent of the shipowner in Paris. This vessel was to take us as 
far as Valparaiso, where we hoped to meet with another boat to carry us to the South 
Pacific. Whilst awaiting the time of the ship s departure, I resided for a time at Paris, 
where I paid my respects to the king, who accorded me his protection with special 
kindness. We shall see later on that it is to this powerful and efficacious protection 
that 1 have reason to attribute my deliverance from civil intolerance and the 
annoyances of the English Protestant ministers in Oceania. 

On the llth November. 1 S. W, I was at Havre de Grace with mv companions 
to embark on the Delphine, which had been advertised to depart on that date. But 
the contrary winds which then prevailed compelled us to lemain about fortv davs 
at this port. Whilst waiting we were hospitably received by Madame Dodard, an old 
widow lady, who was very rich and very charitable, and -who would not allow the 
missionaries sailing from Havre to have other roof or table than her own. 

At length on the iMth December, Christmas Eve, 183C, a, favourable breeze, so long 
waited for by the captain and all the passengers, sprang up and enabled us to set sail. 
In leaving the harbour at Havre we executed a manoeuvre which did not turn out verv 
well for our ship. Her rudder was damaged near the keel, where the injury was 
difficult to discover. We cleared the channel in twenty-seven hours, being favoured 
with a very strong wind. Even when we had arrived in the open sea, in the Atlantic 
Ocean, no one knew that the rudder had been seriously injured about that part of the 
iron-work which did not show. When we were in the latitude of Madeira, the captain, 
warned by the steersman, saw the injury, which had been augmented on our journey. 
The rudder was scarcely holding on to the vessel: all the irons but one were broken. 
We thought of nothing then but making for the nearest land, and directed our course 
to Teneriffe, which we were able to reach safe and sound about the 10th January, 
1837, thanks to the protection of God. There, with much difficulty, we had another 
rudder made, and through various unavoidable delays we made a stay of fifty days at 


the town of Santa Cruz. The clergy and the authorities of this city received us well. 
Their lordships the Bishops of L-vguna and of the Canary Islands helped us in our little 
reverses and favoured us according to their means. The latter sent me some help, 
and made me a present of a precious Episcopal ring. Some of my companions fell 
sick during this detention at Teneriffe, but their health was re-established by the time 
of our departure. 

About the beginning of March we were enabled to set sail again for Valparaiso. 
"We had an excellent new rudder, and sailed with favourable wind and sea. But 
M. Bret was seized with headache, which degenerated into brain fever, and after 
nineteen days sailing he died just as we were on the point of crossing the line to 
enter the southern hemisphere. Alas ! what an affliction for us all. How impenetrable 
are the designs of God. AVe were but four priests and a prelate, and the Lord calls one 
of us to his reward. His last moments received all the succours of religion at the hands 
of his Bishop : his body received funeral honours before being cast into the depths, and 
his soul went to receive that beautiful crown of apostleship which we are forcing our 
selves to win in confronting the many perils that await us. 

After crossing the line towards the Falkland Islands and Cape Horn, we had head 
winds and a very heavy sea. This delayed us on our passage to Valparaiso. Tin- 
water on board became bad and ran short The captain was obliged to put all his 
crew and ourselves on short rations. This was the extent of our trials. But we were 
rewarded for the hardships of our experiences at sea by the consolation we were to render 
the sailors, the greater part of whom attended their Easter duties on the passage. 

We arrived at Valparaiso towards the end of June, 1S-S7. We were hospitably 
leceived by the missionaries of Pic-pus. There we waited for the chance of some vessel 
that would enable us to proceed over the some two thousand leagues yet before us to 
reach either the Friendly Islands or Xew Zealand, which are in the southern part 
of my jurisdiction. It was there that 1 wished to commence my spiritual work. But 
two months elapsed without my being able to get a vessel sailing for those parts. 
Although the roadstead of Valparaiso is frequented by a number of vessels, it was rare 
in those days to find any sailing for the South Pacific. However, after two months 
delay and inquiry, an occasion presented itself to enable us to get somewhat nearer to 
the region under my jurisdiction. It was that of a three-masted American ship called 
the Europa, which was bound for the Sandwich Islands, touching at Gambier and Tahiti. 
Now, from the Sandwich Islands, according to information received at Valparaiso, it 
would be easy to reach the Island of Pounipet or Ascension Island, which is a rather 
large island or archipelago under my jurisdiction, about eight or nine hundred leagues 
from the Sandwich Islands. 



Cruising in the South Pacific Voyage from Valparaiso to (iambicr Stay at Tahiti The Direction 
of the Voyage diverted from Sandwich Islands Departure from Tahiti for Varan 
Learning English Twice in Peril of Shipwreck Arrival and Stay at Vavau. 

LTHOUGH this island is in the northern hemisphere, where T did not propose 
to extend my missionary labour at first until T had commenced in the 
southern hemisphere in the centre of my mission at the Friendly Islands, or 
even in New Zealand, where I knew communications with the interior of Oceania and 
Europe were more frequent and more easy; nevertheless, I decided to begin with the 
northern islands, commencing with Ascension, seeing that the means of proceeding south 
were wanting, and that, besides, we had received at Valparaiso, from a European who 
had lived on the island, information which inspired us with great hope. Besides, 
after so many delays, T preferred waiting at the Sandwich Islands, which are about eight 
hundred leagues from Ascension, and which would offer us a much greater chance for an 
early departure for that island than waiting at Valparaiso, which is more than fifteen 
hundred leagues from the eastern limits of my jurisdiction, and where two months 
sojourn without the prospect of an early departure seemed already too long. 

We embarked then on board the Europa at Valparaiso in the middle of the 
month of August, 1S. 57. We made sail for Gambler. We had on board, besides 
my own companions, two priests and a catechist from Pic-pus, who were going to the 
Sandwich Islands, touching at Gambler and Tahiti. We arrived at Gambier on the feast 
of the Exaltation of the Cross, 14th September. We were much editied at the infant 
Christianity there, which was under the jurisdiction of Monseigneur Rouchouse ; and I 
congratulated that worthy prelate and his clergy on the blessings which God had 
bestowed upon their labours. Our stay on this island was very short ; we left on the 
16th September for Tahiti, where we arrived four or rive days afterwards, having been 
favoured both by wind and sea. 

Tahiti, that beautiful island, whose interesting inhabitants might so easily at 
first have been cultivated in the fruits of Faith and Christian virtue, had, alas ! 
exchanged infidelity for Protestantism, with its commerce, politics, corruption, and 
intolerance. A little more than two years before, two Catholic priests of tin- 
Society of Pic-pus had, at the instigation of the Protestant missionaries, been 
outraged by the natives and expelled from the country by their Queen. Not 
withstanding this, I did not hesitate to visit this sovereign and the American Consul, 
who was the only consul on the island, and who was far from sharing the intolerance of 
the Protestants. T was accompanied by M. Maigret, pro-Vicar of Monseigneur 
Rouchouse, and by nearly all my own companions. Permission was given us to land 
every day for a walk during our stay, which lasted about two weeks. The Enropo, 
was a merchant vessel, and the owner, who was on board, wished to pass this time 
in attending to his business affairs. As to ourselves, we profited by the permission 
of the Queen, and we went morning and evening, sometimes one, sometimes another, to 
take a walk 011 land. Many of the natives welcomed us, and the Europeans, then few 
in number in the country, received our visits with respect and politeness. The day 
after that on which T had visited Queen Pomare, all the royal family and their 


ministers, excepting the Queen herself, came on board to visit me. They wei-e well 
received, and returned content. 

During my stay at Tahiti I had the consolation of celebrating Holy Mass on shore 
in the house of Mr. Mouernhout, the American Consul, and of baptising a New Zealand- 
born child, whose father, a European Catholic and a sailor, had brought him to this 
island. M. Maigret thus offered me in this child the first-fruits of my mission, which 
seemed to have come to meet me. 

Divine Providence, which I endeavour to follow step by step, provided me 
with an excellent opportunity of going to the Friendly Islands, and wherever I 
wished in the bounds of my jurisdiction. It was a small schooner of about sixty tons 
burden, called the Raiatea. She was built in the port of Tahiti, and belonged 
to the American Consul. After having consulted with the priests of my party, I 
decided to come to some economical arrangement with the captain of the Euro-pa 
for leaving his vessel, and to charter the schooner Rniatea, which was all ready for 
sea. Everything was settled as I wished. This schooner was at my disposal to go to 
the central islands of Oceania, and even to Ascension, if I should desire it. By this 
arrangement, so unexpected, and which rejoiced us all, we should go straight to our 
mission, and our voyage by these means would be quicker, cheaper, more free, and 
less uncertain. At Tahiti I learnt two things which it was necessary for me to 
know, viz., that for some years Protestant missionaries of A arious sects were scattered 
over the islands under my jurisdiction, and that in nearly all the archipelagoes of 
Polynesia there were safe harbours that were visited from time to time by European and 
American vessels. They told me particularly of Vavau as being a place pretty regularly 
frequented. The harbour at this place is called the harbour of refuge. Now, to 
commence my missionary labours prudently, my intention was to choose some islands from 
whence I could establish communication with the various stations to be founded, and 
with my correspondents in Europe, and where there would be no Protestants, but only 
heathens ; for it was notorious that the former, acquainted with the language of the 
people, among whom they preceded us, instigated by the means of calumny, fanaticism, 
and intolerance, all kinds of troubles and persecutions against the newly arrived Catholic 
missionaries, who could not speak the language, either to defend the truth or themselves. 
In cases like these their fate is necessarily death, or at the very least, dismissal. Nothing 
then was more needful for the mission than the commencement of the study of languages 
amongst some heathen tribes, who receive fairly well any inoffensive stranger when they 
have not been prejudiced by the ill-disposed, and when the missionary has at the 
beginning an interpreter who is able to make himself understood. It is important 
from the outset not to teach religion, nor to make known your intention of changing 
that of the country. You can only succeed in the ministry of teaching when you are 
sufficiently conversant with the language of the p?ople. It is enough in the beginning 
that they receive you with hospitality, and only recognise you as well instructed 
travellers belonging to some great and civilized nation, desirous of learning their 
Lmguage to enable you to establish with them friendly and social relations. Generally 
the natives are flattered by these proposals. Such were the reflections that occupied 
my thoughts when upon the point of entering the place of my jurisdiction. 

We left Tahiti on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and with lovely weather. The 
captain and the mate of the schooner Raiatea, on which we were, were English, and the 
six others of the crew of various nationalities. Nothing but English was spoken on 
board, which caused some difficulty to us who had a very imperfect knowledge of the 
language. During the first days of the voyage I was obliged to use a dictionary in talk 
ing to the captain about the affairs of my companions and about the islands where I 
desired the schooner should touch. I wrote down what I had to say to him, and he 
answered me also with his pen on the same sheet of paper, for I could understand 
English a little when it was written, but not at all when it was spoken. A A e applied 
ourselves all the voyage endeavouring to learn the difficult pronunciation of this 
language, a language almost indispensable to any one travelling or working in Oceania, 


The first islands under my jurisdiction that \ve saw, were the Palmerston Islands. 
They are uninhabited. We passed close to, but did not land. They are covered with 
trees and shrubs, and form a small archipelago of three or four islands with an enclosed 
space in the middle which appeared very well suited for the anchorage of vessels. A 
fairly large population could live comfortably on these abandoned islands. They are 
situated about two hundred and eighty leagues from Tahiti and two hundred from Yavau, 
which is the tirst of the Friendly Islands one meets coming from the east as we were. 

After about twenty days sail, dating our departure from Tahiti, we came in 
sight of Yavau. The captain sailed close in to tind the harbour of refuge, where I 
proposed staying for some aays, and even establishing there a point of communication 
a sort of provisional depot- on account of the frequent calling in there of vessels. 
After rounding several rocky points which surround this island, we directed our course 
towards the port, which was about five or six miles from us. The sen was calm, the 
breeze favourable, and the weather tine ; but the horizon in front of us towards the 
west began to cloud over. It was about four o clock in the afternoon. Alas ! in going 
towards the port, where we thought soon to arrive, we were going also to meet the storm. 
Nevertheless, we should have reached there safe and sound that day had not the wind, 
which had hitherto been favourable, veered round and become contrary. Tt drove us 
into a small bay between two rocky points, on which we should have infallibly struck 
had not the captain, by dint of tacking for several hours, managed to get out into the 
open. During these dangerous manoeuvres the storm reached us, the rain fell in torrents 
the wind was strong and the sea heavy; the night was very dark, the thunder rolled with 
fearful noise, and the lightning Hashing frequently added to the horrors of our position, 
dissipating the profound darkness which enveloped us, only to show us that we were 
nearer to the reefs, our striking on which seemed inevitable. However, we escaped 
from this great danger, which we little thought was soon to be followed by one still 
more serious. 

When at length we were at a safe distance from shore the storm, the rain, and 
the wind suddenly ceased, but the sea remained stormy. As far as the wind went, 
we were becalmed. Not a breath of air was to be felt, but strong currents were 
carrying us towrrds the rocks of the island, which are perpendicular. It appeared 
impossible to escape the danger which threatened our ship and our lives ; there was 
safety for no one. It was half-past eleven at night. The storm being over, the darkness 
was no longer so profound ; we could plainly see ourselves going into the jaws of death. 
The only hope we had was that a providential breeze might spring up and enable us to 
make head against the current. This, then, was the object of our vows and prayers 
which we addressed to the Lord through the intercession of her who is called Star of 
the .Sea, and who is the patroness of the sailor. But, alas ! the wished-for wind came 
not, and there was nothing left but to submit ourselves to the impenetrable designs of 
God. The schooner was already amidst the foam caused by the sea dashing itself 
against the rocks. We were surprised that the keel did not strike against some ridge ; 
but just at the moment when we were awaiting all the horrors of shipwreck and death, 
a breeze sprang up from the direction of the very rock upon which we were drifting ; it 
tilled our sails, we gained the open sea, and in less than half an hour were out of all 
danger. The life which had been preserved to us seemed a resurrection. Our deliverance 
we at once attributed to Mary and to the power of God. The captain, a Protestant, fell 
on his knees, joined his hands, and lifting his eyes towards Heaven seemed beside 
himself. He knew not how to give utterance to his sentiments of gratitude before 
God. He was trembling and overcome with emotion, and cried out unceasingly, "Good 
God ! Good God ! " 

We remained out at sea all night, away from Yavau, although the breeze was 
favourable for entering the harbour of refuge. " But it was imprudent to do so at night 
time. As soon as it was daylight we were not long in getting to the entrance of this 
long port. A canoe full of natives came to meet us ; among them was the minister 
of the king of the island. We received him and all his companions on board ; he could 


speak a little English, and we were able to converse. He had come to learn who we 
were, and to offer his services as pilot. We learnt from him, during the two hours we 
were obliged to spend in manoeuvring in order to reach the anchorage, that there was 
in the neighbourhood of the king s residence, the house of two Protestant missionaries, 
who for the last six or seven years had been evangelizing this island ; that the entire 
population, comprising about two thousand souls, had embraced their religion, and that 
for a short while these missionaries were away, but were expected back daily. 

At all events, Providence furnished me in this island with two excellent means of 
commencing a mission. These were two interpreters in place of the one I had got. 
The first was a Frenchman and a Catholic ; he had been for twelve years a blacksmith 
at Vavau. The second was an American and a Protestant, who spoke the languages of 
Wallis and Futuna. He had been a sailor, but had given up a seafaring life on account of 
bad health. The first was very useful tome at Vavau. Through his means I established 
social communications with the king of the island, who, in the absence of the two Pro 
testant missionaries, showed me both cordiality and kindness. He allowed me to leave 
two of my company in his island to live there and take care of my stores, and to keep 
up correspondence with those among us who were going to other islands still plunged in 
the darkness of ignorance. The king of Vavau, who was called King George, returned the 
visits I paid him and came to dine with me on board the schooner. He manifested confi 
clence and frendship. But two or three days afterwards, when the Protestant mission 
aries had returned to the island, the king, quite saddened, told me on a visit that I was 
paying him that my stay in the country must not be prolonged, as the missionaries had 
so decided. In fact, I had learned from my interpreter and others, that since their return 
these missionaries had done nothing but beset the mind of the king in order to constrain 
him not to receive any member from my company on his island. Although it was only 
a question on this occasion of a purely civil matter, that is to say, the reception or the 
rejection of two of my people to guard my stores and to correspond with my missionary 
stations to be established elsewhere, I was unwilling to make many objections, being 
unacquainted with the language of Vavau. I remained on good terms with the king, 
bade him farewell, and promised him that when I had learned the language of the Friendly 
Islands, I would find an opportunity in my travels to see him again, and that then he 
would understand all things better, according to my wishes and hopes for the happiness 
of himself and his country. At these words we shook hands ; I then quitted his house, 
and went on board the schooner. 



Wallis Island The First Mission Established Preparing to Visit the King of Wallis The 
Interview The Chief Tungahala Conduct of the Natives on board the Schooner " Kaiatea "- 
Second Visit to the King of Wallis Imminent Peril of being Massacred Flan to Escape 
being Murdered Good Disposition of the Chief Tungahala Landing a Priest and Catechist 
Their Luggage Robbed Third and Last Visit to the King of Wallis Foundation of the 

AT once gave the captain orders to set sail for the islands of Wallis and 
Futuna, which are distant about one hundred and twenty leagues from Vavau, 
close to the equinoxial line. I had learned during my stay at Vavau that 
the Protestant missionaries intended establishing their mission in these two islands, 
whither I myself was going before them and without their knowledge. They thought 
I was going to Ascension Island they had been told this by some of the schooner s 
crew, who thought so themselves, and had told them. Such, indeed, was my intention, 
should I not succeed in tinding hospitality and safety on the islands I was about to visit 
during my voyage But no one thoroughly knew my intentions. It was only at 
Vavau, that intolerant and first-inhabited island I visited within the bounds of my 
jurisdiction, that God caused me to conceive the resolution of carrying the work of 
salvation to Wallis and Futuna, in order to save these two islands from Protestantism 
and the intolerance which it had established at Vavau, and finally to bring to the true 
fold this interesting people, who as yet had not exchanged paganism for heresy. The 
American interpreter, of whom I have already spoken, not liking Vavau which he wished 
to leave, and desiring to go and live at Wallis and Futuna, came and asked me for a 
passage on board my hired schooner, offering me, as the price of his passage, his services 
as interpreter. I received him the more willingly as his desires accorded exactly with 
my designs and wants in the circumstances in which I was placed. But our captain, who 
had already been to Wallis on his former voyages, and knew the inhabitants of this 
island to be notorious thieves and strongly inclined to massacre the crews and 
passengers of any vessel that came, in order to give themselves up more freely to the 
pillage of their contents, hesitated in taking us to this place, because he said he had 
no cannons to intimidate the natives and make them more cautious. But after having 
reassured him and encouraged him, showing him the help the interpreter would be in 
making us understood to these people, and the confidence in (rod who guards the true 
ministers of His holy work, he decided on taking us to Wallis. 

We left Vavau on the 28th October, 1837 ; the weather was beautiful and the sea 
and wind favourable. All Saints Day we were in sight of Wallis. Before entering the 
vast port of this island, surrounded by coral reefs, I celebrated the Holy Sacrifice 
(if the Mass on board, in order that I might invoke on this new people the grace of faith, 
that they might one day be joined with the saints whose great festival we were 

Shortly after concluding the adorable sacrifice we saw coming towards us, on the 
open sea, a canoe on board of which was one, as we learnt afterwards, of the greatest 
chiefs of the island, and about half-a-dozen natives These islanders with long woolly 
hair were clothed in a "tapa" reaching from the waist to the knees. We received 
them on board with an unspeakable inward joy. Two of them could speak a little 

LAXn/X<; AT WALLIS 7,s7,J.V/>. 1!) 

English, ;md we were able to hold short conversations ou mutters the most necessary, 
but foreign to religion. The chief, whose name was Tungaliala, could speak better than 
the others. He had made himself the pilot of the port. There were always some sailors, 
either American, English, or French, living with his tribe, and we found a Frenchman 
there when we arrived who had been able to learn fairly a few words of Knglish. 
Thus lie was able to talk pretty easily to the captain. I had advised the captain 
beforehand, and through him the rest of the crew, to make us known to these people only 
as travellers belonging to a powerful European nation, well instructed and desirous of 
learning their language in order to know them, and to establish between us reciprocal 
relations of good-will and friendship. I also advised the captain and the interpreter to 
tell the king when I went to him, that if after a stay of some months in his island we 
were not agreeable to him he had but to let us know and we would leave, and on our 
side, if after the same space of time we desired to leave his country, we would honestly 
let him know. 

Though we were all dressed in cassocks, the natives had no idea who we were. 
Never had they seen anyone dressed as we were ; they examined our dress with great 
attention and were astonished, but seemed far from displeased at our company ; they 
wished to ask us very many questions and to hold long conversations with us, but the 
difference of our languages prevented it. We could only interchange a few expressions 
of salutation and good-will by means of gestures and the few words we had picked up 
at Vavau and with the aid of our interpreter. The natives soon seemed satisfied 
with us. During the interval of about an hour and a-half which passed between their 
arrival on board the schooner and our anchoring in the port of Wallis, which appeared 
very safe, God caused me to gain the confidence and good-will of the chief Tungahala, 
who looked upon me, not as a Bishop, which was an unknown title to him, but as the 
principal traveller aboard the schooner. In his eyes, all the other p-jssengers were 
my friends and fellow-travellers. I saw at once, at the sight of the port and from 
the information I received from the captain and from Tungahala as to the shipping 
and the language, that AVallis (should the mission hereafter succeed) would not only 
fulfil my first requirement, which was to learn the language of the Friendly Islands, 
but also my second, which was not less indispensable in more than one respect, namely, 
to procure for my Apostolic Vicariate a place of communication and an establishment 
for the administration, both temporal and spiritual, of all the missionary stations 
that were to be founded on the other islands. How earnestly I besought the Lord to 
grant my prayer, to open the kingdom of Heaven to the people of Wallis ! 

It was not yet mid-day when we cast anchor on the beach. Wallis is a small 
archipelago, the principal isle of which has a circumference of about twelve leagues. 
Seven or eight other islands surround it at a short distance, but only three or four 
of them are inhabited ; they are all situated in a vast basin formed by the coral reefs 
against which the waves dash themselves, in some instances as far as a league distant, 
and which resemble a dense wall between wind and water, defending this small 
archipelago against the fury of the sea. 

After having cast anchor I hastened to make myself ready to pay a visit to the king ; 
it would take me about two hours and a half to reach the spot where he dwelt. In 
Polynesia, when the captain of a vessel or a passenger of some distinction goes to call on 
the chief of the island on which he has landed, it is a custom to offer him some presents as 
a sign of affection and peace. As to myself, I had taken the precaution to learn what 
kind of present would best please the King of Wallis. I was told the most suitable would 
be some pieces of stuff and ribbons, ironmongery, and a bottle of wine. I took these 
things from my stores in the ship and gave them to my interpreter whom I took with 
me. M. .Bataillon, Mr. Stocks, the captain, and a young subordinate native chief who 
spoke a little English, were to accompany me on this first visit. We got into the 
schooner s boat to land, about a mile and a-half from the vessel. On our way we 
conversed with the young native chief our guide. The prayers which I had appointed 
for missionaries about to land on the islands or enter among savage tribes were read 


on board whilst approaching Wallis. They consisted of the Litany of the Holy Virgin, 
the Miserere, the Veni Creator, then the words of the exorcism, and lastly the Bendictio 
Dei omnipotentis and the Sub tuuiii. We read these prayers together, before the natives 
reached us, on the open sea, so that they might not make any remarks on our persons or 
on what they might see us doing. 

We landed opposite a little village of three or four houses. On landing I repeated 
the principal words of the exorcism and the prayer, Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, etc., 
without anyone noticing anything. The natives of the spot, few in number, looked at us 
with surprise, striking themselves on the stomach with their hands (a sign of admiration 
amongst them), and showed joy and confidence. M. Bataillon had 011 a black cassock. 
I was dressed like him and wore no other signs of episcopal dignity than the ring and the 
cross on the breast. The young chief, our conductor, told them in a few words that we 
were French travellers, learned, and desirous of making a stay amongst them for the 
purpose of learning their language and of entering into friendly relations with them 
through the means of the king and the principal chiefs. They hastened to surround 
us and salute us with affection, offering us cocoanut milk to drink and bananas to eat, 
which we partook of in the hut of the father of a family, living on the spot. We hastened 
as quickly as possible to. receive these first marks of civility and hospitality, as we had 
still a two hours walk to reach the king s residence, and were anxious to return the same 
day to sleep on board the schooner. 

We soon took leave of our amiable companions and proceeded to penetrate into the 
interior of the island. The roads were not wide, but were well kept. We frequently 
passed beneath the shade of woods of cocoanut and other trees, the foliage of which 
sheltered the traveller from the burning heat of the sun. We crossed tracts of 
uncultivated land, also fields of bananas, yams, and shrubs, from whose bark the 
natives make their clothes. This island was enchanting to the sight; Nature seemed 
to have set herself out to form vast groves and grand gardens. We passed on the 
road small villages whose inhabitants came out of their reed huts to see us. The young 
chief, our conductor, said a few words to them about us, and the natives, both men and 
women, showed surprise and joy, and repeated their kindly " ofa " (a kindly salutation). 
At length we reached the king s dwelling, which was a great hut made of reeds and in 
the shape of an oval parasol ; it rests on four posts, and the roof has an elevation of about 
twenty feet. The roof is made of leaves and sloped greatly ; the flooring is about two 
and a-half feet from the ground, and the house is open on all sides, enabling anyone to 
enter any part of it by stooping low. This is the form of nearly all the houses of the 
natives of the tropical islands of Polynesia. That of the king and other great chiefs 
are only distinguishable from the others, sometimes, by their size, but ordinarily by a 
thick fence of reeds, thoroughly interwoven and forming a kind of matting. Such 
also was the dwelling of the king I was visiting. His hut was not the only one in the 
bay of Fararen, where he lived ; there was a cluster of others which formed a village 
sheltered by cocoanut trees, and the population of which would probably reach about 
two hundred persons. 

On our arrival at the king s dwelling, the natives at once came from all sides 
to look at us. They had not failed to learn from our native guide who we were, whom we 
had come to see, and what we wanted to do ; but they were totally ignorant of the 
spiritual motives which had led us there. We entered the house of the king who 
is called Lavelua. He was sitting on mats which covered a spacious but slight elevation 
of the ground. He received me, saying, "ofa," and shaking my hand which he did 
successively with each of my companions ; then he invited me to seat myself on the mat 
on his right hand, close to him, with the captain. M. Bataillon was by my side and my 
interpreter was seated on a mat before the humble throne of the king. The king ordered a 
" Kavas " to be celebrated. A large circle of distinguished natives formed to the right and 
left of his majesty, reaching to the end of the hut. The interpreter offered the king, in my 
name, the presents which I had entrusted him to carry. The eyes of all the assembly 
were fixed on them. But no one moved and all were silent. " Kavas " is a ceremony of 


friendship among the Polynesians, during which is served, in a cocoanut shell, a drink 
made from the root of the " kava." Whilst they were preparing this drink in a large 
bowl of polished wood, the king uncorked the bottle of wine, which had just been given 
to him and drank a little out of a cocoanut shell. Then he ottered some to us as well 
as the chiefs at the meeting, and we accepted this as a proof of their native good 

While the young men and girls were chewing the roots of the "kava" to prepare 
the liquid, 1 entered, by means of my interpreter, into conversation with the king. 
1 made him the proposition, to leave on his island two of my company, to learn the 
language of his country and to bind themselves to him and his relatives by means of 
friendly relations and good services. At first he appeared flattered by these proposals, 
but a douht crossed his mind. He thought that perhaps we belonged to the Protestant 
missionaries in the neighbouring islands, who flog the natives for drinking wine or 
smoking tobacco. Several times he asked if I and my companions did not belong to these 
missionaries, adding that if we did, we must leave his country as speedily as possible. 
As often as he insisted on .asking me this question, so often I reassured him, telling him 
that neither I nor any of my companions had, did, nor would for anything in the world 
belong to the class of people of whom he was thinking. I was forced to say this, not 
only in the interests of truth, but for the very preservation of our lives ; for about 
two years before, the king of Wallis and his people had massacred over fifty-five 
native Protestants of the neighbouring islands, who had come armed to preach on his 
island, and to make war upon him in case of his refusal to be converted to their church. 
Since that time all the people hated the Protestant missionaries, and the king would on 
no account open to them the gates of his little states. 

When he was reassured about us, being convinced that we did not belong to this 
sect of missionaries, he was greatly inclined to admit me and one or two of my com 
panions into his country, and even into his royal dwelling. However, he said he would 
call a meeting of the principal chiefs of the island and confer with them as to our admis 
sion, and then give me a definite answer, and that he would let me know on the next 
visit I paid him. I told him I would come again and see him, and that if he himself 
would like to visit my vessel he would he well received. But, whether from motives of 
fear or of something else, he excused himself, alleging that a fete was to take place at 
which he had to be present. After saluting him and shaking hands we left, promising 
to pay him a second visit in a few days ; we then returned on board to sup and sleep. 

The next day I went to visit the chief Tungahala, who received me very well. He 
often came on board to entertain himself with us ; many native chiefs and others came 
also, shaking hands and showing themselves well disposed and friendly. But from time 
to time, the sailor who acted as steward for us was angry, because these natives hindered 
him in his work and importuned him with their demands, and some of thorn stole table- 
knives without his detecting it or being able to find out who had done it. These 
people, thorough-going thieves, never steal but in secret, unless they intend murdering 
those whose possessions they covet. If travellers, therefore, do not wish to be robbed, 
they must in some way or another keep the natives continually under their eyes, for they 
are wonderfully clever in satisfying their cupidity. So I had advised everyone on board 
to exercise the greatest vigilance over those natives who came to visit us in order- 
that they might commit no theft and prevent the still greater evils which often ensue to 
travellers who in their just indignation reclaim the objects that have been stolen from 
them. So also, when I learnt that some table-knives had been taken, without anyone 
noticing, and without knowing which of the natives had stolen them, 1 urgently begged 
that no one would reclaim them, and that we should conceal all knowledge of what had 

The next day I paid a second visit to the King of Wallis. I was accompanied 
by the same individuals who had been with me on my former visit, but I had besides 
with me another priest and a catechist. These were M. Servant and Brother Joseph ; 


and also, at my urgent request, the chief Tungahala, with several of his tribe, h;id 
decided to accompany us. Our company in crossing the island this time was therefore 
somewhat numerous. The king for his part had invited all the principal chiefs to a 
re-union in our honour. "We were received with respect by his majesty, who gave us 
the seat of honour and ordered the celebration of the "kavas." Whilst it was being 
prepared one of the greatest chiefs of the island made a speech to the assembly which 
lasted a long time. My interpreter told me from time to time that the speech was 
very eloquent, but that its object was to dissuade the king from receiving me into his 
island. Every face appeared serious and cold. Euch native was armed with a spear or 
an axe. It was evident that there was anxiety and hesitation among the assembly. 
A profound silence reigned when the speech was over. The king with a pensive air 
seemed plunged in thought. A few moments afterwards he called the chief Tungahala, 
who was at the bottom of the assembly, to him, and he immediately responding to the 
invitation of his majesty came and sat beside him. The two conversed in a low tone, 
but the interpreter and the people nearest to them could follow their conversation. 
Tungahala said to the king that the speech of the old man, his minister, was that of a 
madman : as for himself, who had frequented our company ever since we had been on 
the coast and in the island, he was sure that we were well-intentioned strangers, and 
that they could only gain by keeping us. How many secret prayers were made amongst 
my party to our Lord and His blessed Mother, and to the good angels of these people 
during the time I was holding this interview, which seemed so decisive for their 
salvation ! 

When the king had finished listening to Tungahala s discourse, he appeared 
reassured his face expressed contentment ; he turned towards me making with 
his head several signs of friendship and indicating to me by gesture that lie 
accepted my proposals for the stay in his country of my companions. Then he 
spoke, and all the natives listened to him in silence as to an oracle ; he addressed 
himself to all the chiefs, saying : " I have no strangers with me, you have always 
some staying witli you ; I am then the only one who has none. Well, to-day I wish to 
have these who are present ; they shall reside in my dwelling ;" and everything was so 
decided. There was not a single voice raised to contradict the king. It is to be 
remarked even that the old man, Kuwaru, who had spoken against our admission, said 
several times at each sentence of the king s short speech, " kua lelei," (it is good), a sign 
of submission given by all the people of conforming themselves to the will of the sovereign, 
even when he decided in a manner opposed to the opinions which they might hold, 
after he had listened to the advice which they freely offered him. 

As soon as this solemn and favourable decision in our favour was published in the 
island at this memorable assembly, kava was drunk ; the king drank a toast to myself 
and my companions, wishing us prosperous times and happy days. After the meeting 
was over I presented to the king the two of my companions whom I had selected to 
remain with him ; they were M. Bataillon (a priest), and Brother Joseph (a catechist). 
His majesty agreed to them, and it was decided that a reed house should be constructed 
on the royal premises for the dwelling of his two guests ; that he himself would provide 
their sustenance, and that the servants of the court should prepare their food. As to 
myself, I told the king that together with the other travellers I was going to visit the 
other countries in the neighbourhood, and that afterwards I would return to W^allis to 
see him. I may remark, that during the friendly admission that Lavelua gave the two 
members of my company, the people of the assembly learned from me that Brother Joseph 
was a carpenter, and that he had a large grindstone. This stone, which was still on 
board, but the excellence of which they could imagine having seen similar ones on 
board other vessels this stone, I say, attracted all their attention, and excited before 
hand their admiration and their desires. They thought doubtless to see all the axes and 
knives on the island shining and sharpened by the means of a stone which they did not 
possess themselves. W T e left the assembly after making our farewells to the 
king, and telling him that we were returning 011 board the schooner to prepare the 


luggage of those who were to remain with him. He \vas satisfied, and offered his canoe 
with four or five young chiefs for the transport of his guests and their effects, which would 
take place two or three days after we left him. We returned, blessing God for all that 
had happened. Our admission, so strongly opposed by some of the influential men on 
the island, and obtained with signs of respect and good-will accompanying it, seemed to 
me to be already a signal of victory obtained over the powers of darkness. 

Arrived on board, I turned my attention to writing out the spiritual powers and 
some mission instructions for the two persons I had delegated for the first mission I 
had established. M. Bataillon and Brother Joseph occupied themselves for their part 
in preparing their luggage and everything that was required for sacred worship, and 
other necessary work. To make this preparation it was necessary to open the hatches 
to get at the hold of the vessel, and then to pick out from the different cases belonging 
to the mission the things that were necessary to complete the furnishing of this first 
station. All this could not be done without people who might be on deck seeing it. 
Now prudence had warned me before, in my conversations with the captain, to strongly 
recommend that the natives should never be told what was on board the schooner, and 
above all, that they should never be allowed to see the interior. So M. Bataillon and 
Brother Joseph were obliged to prepare all their effects and get their furniture together 
either during the night or very early in the morning, and in either case previously 
consulting the captain, who was responsible for the vessel and for the lives of all on 

It happened, notwithstanding all my precautions, that early one morning a young 
native who had remained on board how or when is not known came to look down the 
hatchway at the work that M. Bataillon, assisted by a catechist, was doing, preparing 
the furniture for his mission. Then the young native saw several open trunks and their 
contents. M. Bataillon was not long in noticing that a native was witnessing his 
occupation, and without seeming annoyed by the presence of the young native, he 
stopped working, closed the trunks and went on deck with the catechist. The captain 
having learned that a native had been found on board and had seen the contents of the 
hold, came and told me of it and we were both very grieved about it. Nothing had been 
done by M. Bataillon without the captain s approval. Nevertheless, we showed no ill 
feeling to the native whose cunning had kept him on board. He was treated the same 
as the others, but it would seem that his mission was fulfilled. He hastened to go ashore, 
profiting by the schooner s boat, in which some of the sailors were going on duty. He 
certainly did not forget to spread the news over the island that we had trunks and cases 
on board. And so all the morning there was a procession of small canoes bringing ugly- 
looking natives armed with axes and large knives. 

In the middle of the day our deck, which was not very large, contained fifty or sixty 
of them that is to say, it was completely covered. I did not notice all at once this 
influx of people, being very busy writing out the spiritual powers for M. Bataillon and 
the instructions for the mission which concerned him. But one of my catechists, whom 
I had ordered to remain constantly on deck to entertain the natives who visited us, 
became apprehensive that day for the safety of the ship and of our lives. He came 
down to me somewhat frightened. He told me that the natives were very numerous, all 
armed and of forbidding mien, showing no signs of friendship, and not even making 
the ordinary salutations they had been in the habit of making on former days. While 
reassuring the catechist, and dissipating his fears, I took into great consideration all he 
had said without letting him perceive it, and told him that I would come on deck in a 
few moments to witness all that passed, and ordered him to go on deck and exercise 
all vigilance. 

After writing a little longer, I went up on deck and saw all that the catechist had 
reported. T did not wish to go up at the same time that he did for fear the natives 
should see that T had been receiving information about them. The three first persons 
I met were seated on the skylight, and were chiefs of a certain rank. Mv countenance 


was that of one who came to keep them company and show pleasure at receiving 
their visit. I looked at them as people who are about to salute you generally look ; 
but they answered only by tierce and angry glances. Then, I myself refrained from 
speaking my salutation, and turned my eyes away from them without exhibiting any 
emotion, and preserving a mien of tranqu?lity and peace. I was standing on the starboard 
side, separated only by the narrow skylight from the chiefs whose looks had offeied 
me so bad a welcome. I was not far, either, from the tiller of the vessel, consequently 
1 had under my eyes the whole crowd of natives who swarmed our decks. Some were 
sitting, some standing, some walking slowly backwards and forwards, as though investi 
gating. None of them came to me. I saw no look of confidence ; all faces were cold. 

I continued to stand calmly, hiding the apprehension with which this assembly 
tilled me, and began inwardly to offer myself as a sacrifice to God and to adore 
His designs of anything inauspicious that was to happen that day. My soul was 
filled with these sentiments, when one of the three chiefs who was sitting on the 
skylight on my left hand, took his axe, fixed to an enormous handle, passed behind 
the tiller, and came and stood on my right hand. We were thus in a line, with our 
faces towards the crowd. Our looks did not meet. I followed, out of the corner of my 
eye, all the movements he had made, and I lemained standing calmly as though I had 
seen nothing. Scarcely had lie placed himself beside me when he stretched out his 
arm, with the axe in his hand, as though measuring the distance to give me a blow on 
the head, and when he made this gestuie I could still see, out of the corner of my 
eye, his eyes sparkling witli anger and his lips trembling with passion. Alas ! at that 
moment I thought my days in this world were ended, that I and all my companions 
and all on board would be massacred and then the whole vessel plundered, and that thus 
the first expedition of this mission was going to fail under the axe of the heathen at 
Wallis. 1 thought also that I saw the heavens open on this day of threatened 
calamities. Nevertheless, God tilled my soul with strength ; adoration of His designs, 
resignation and peace were in my heart. 1 showed no emotion, my attitude was 
that of a traveller who looked with pleasure at the crowd of natives that had come 
to visit him and not imputing to them the slightest evil intention. 

While I wns awaiting the death-stroke in this frame of mind, I cannot tell what 
invisible power held back the arm of the furious native at my side. From time to 
time I examined him without his perceiving that I saw him ; he stood in a threatening 
posture ; he seemed by turns to be under the resolve to strike and then to hesitate as 
if lacking the diabolical courage to kill one who had never harmed him who was 
defenceless, and offered no opposition, but tranquility and peace. An air of tranquility 
and peace is often the best means of disarming a savage ; but if one shows signs of 
fear, or attempts to fly or offer a vain resistance, it is all over with him. Finally, 
after some moments had passed, being unable to make up his mind to strike me, my 
furious native left me, and passing by the tiller, went and sat on the form by the sky 
light, where he had been previously. His anger seemed appeased, he appeared dis 
contented and ashamed of his want of courage, but he remained peaceful. 

However, as prudence suggested the absence of the person against whom this 
furious anger was levelled, 1 hastened to leave the spot where I was, and went, as 
though nothing had happened, and walked about the deck amongst the troop of 
natives who covered it. They appeared cold, though some of them decided to 
offer me their " of a," and T replied to their salutation, with the same good-will as 

T could not, however, hide from myself the danger that I and all on board had 
undergone, and which we still ran on that critical clay. I spoke to the mate of the 
schooner, who was forward on deck with some of tl e sailors. They all feared some 
misfortune for the vessel, although they had not seen the danger so closely as I had. The 
captain was absent on the island. Three or four of the members of my mission, 
priests and catechists, were also away ; they had gone for a walk as far as the 


king s. I spoke, then, in such English as I could command, to the mate as to what 
peaceable measures we could adopt to free us from the danger which we incurred, of 
which he was as fully convinced as I was. He said that the captain not being there he 
did not know what to do. Then I asked him to send the ship s boat ashore with 
two or three sailors to ask the chief Tungahala, who was devoted to me, to come and 
dine with me. He was very influential, and lived on a little island exactly opposite 
the schooner, which could be reached in about eight minutes. He approved of this ex 
pedient, and at once ordered the sailors to carry out my desires. All the natives on 
board saw the boat cleaving the waters, and steering for Tungahala s dwelling, and 
showed themselves at once more peaceably inclined. For up to the present moment 
they had an air of investigation, cupidity, and ill-will, which showed that they but 
waited a given signal to give themselves up to murder and pillage. 

Tungahala did not keep us waiting. In less than a quarter of an hour he was with 
us. On his arrival on board I received him in the middle of the crowd on the 
deck. He was armed with an axe and carried himself with dignity as became a 
chief of great distinction on the island. He saluted me with affection and shook my 
hand. I said to him in English that not knowing his language I could not make 
myself understood by the natives, who had been on board for more than two hours, and 
I begged him to be kind enough to tell them from me that I was pleased to see 
them on hoard the schooner, but that their prolonged stay and the quickly following 
number of visitors so crowded the deck that it was impossible for the sailors to 
attend to their duties, and that I should prefer them to come oftener and stay for a 
less time and thus be less numerous. I had scarcely said this to Tungahala, who 
seemed to understand better than myself the hostile disposition of the natives, 
who were in such numbers on the deck, than, brandishing the axe he held, he ad 
dressed to them, with an air cf command, a speech of a few words ; and immediately we 
saw these people leaving the schooner on all sides in their canoes and making for 
shore. Of the whole of the crowd but few natives remained on board. 

Tungahala dined with me and did not cease asking me very many questions to 
which I replied without divulging my character or my intentions for the salvation 
of the island of Wallis. He assured me of his protection and of that of the king 
and of his attachment and devotion. Although he had ordered that no one should 
remain on hoard for any length of time, he wished himself to pass ihe whole day 
with me. We appeared to understand each other without any explanation as to the 
danger we had incurred, both as regards the vessel and the lives of all my companions. 
Through his presence and authority we had been fi eed from a crowd of murderers and 
thieves, and by his remaining on board we were exempt from all danger. Natives 
continued to come, but they were fewer in number and iheir stay shorter. After 
that day of danger Tungahala came on board several times every day to see that every 
thing was safe and was going on in an orderly and peaceful manner. During his many 
visits to the schooner we held long conversations together, about the island, about 
different countries, the origin of the world, and even of the Great Spirit who had 
formerly created it. He had already some idea of what I was telling him, but he 
listened with much attention, reflection, and respect ; he desired to learn more, but 
prudence forbade me. 

On the day succeeding the one of danger we had just passed, the furniture for the 
mission of M. Bataillon was all in order and the luggage ready. The king had 
already, early in the morning, sent his canoe with four or five men, as he had pro 
mised, to bring to him the two members of my company, whom he awaited with the 
luggago they required. We hastened to accept the service offered. Two or three 
trunks were put into the canoe, and, as I still had need of M. Bataillon on board, in 
order to finish the papers which concerned him, I sent another priest, M. Servant, 
Brother Joseph, and the interpreter, to take care of the luggage they were carrying, to 
thank the king for his kindness, and to announce to him the speedy arrival of M. 
Bataillon, who had been promised to him. We saw the canoe recede from us; all on 



board seemed content. They steered in the direction of the king s, making a long 
sweep along the coast, which was necessary when going there by water When they 
had doubled the point of the island and were hidden from our sight, and not very far 
from the king s residence, the leading chief in the canoe told those belonging to my 
company to get out and to walk ashore through the water, the sea at this spot 
covering for a considerable distance a plain of hard sand, which is easily crossed, the 
water being only knee-deep. My three passengers were obliged to obey the order 
given them. The interpreter took M. Servant on his shoulders, and all three 
directed their course towards the king s residence, wading through the water. 
The trunks remained in the canoe and the natives declared they were going to 
take them immediately to the same spot. But they were a long time in keeping 
their promise, and our travellers waited for them at the residence of the king, he being 
absent. At last, towards evening, the canoe of our natives arrived. Brother 
Joseph was not long in finding out that all the locks had been broken. He opened 
the trunks and saw at once that several things were missing, having been stolen by 
the greedy and cunning carriers and hidden in some of their houses. When the 
king returned, 1 think he was not long in learning the theft that had been com 
mitted, but little was said about it at his majesty s. My companions found means 
to inform me of everything on board, where T was with M. Butaillon and M. Chanel. 
my pro-vicar. The news did not reach me till night-time. 

Next morning I went to visit Tungahala, whose dwelling was but a very short 
distance from the schooner, and told him all I had learned He seemed distressed by the 
news and tilled with indignation against the thieves, his countrymen. However, 
under the circumstances 1 counselled justice and peace, and had no trouble in 
persuading him to accompany me on a visit to the king, to cause the stolen objects to 
be returned, or otherwise to get him to permit us to leave his state peaceably and with 
-r 11 our effects. Tungahala entered into ail my plans. He called several of his 
followers and came with them on board the schooner. We breakfasted there and 
then embarked in order to land and cross the island to reach the king. There remained 
on board only M. Chanel, one or two catechists, and the men required for duty on the 

The king was absent when we arrived. He was in the neighbourhood assisting at 
a public fete which the natives were holding ihere. However, close to his residence 
lived several natives of distinction, among them some of the carriers of our broken- 
open luggage. I begged Tungahala to send a messenger to the king to inform him 
that I was at his house, waiting to speak to him and bid him farewell. While we were 
awaiting his majesty, the litrle boys and girls of the royal family came and played 
round about us, showing much confidence and affection. I hastened to learn from M. 
Servant and Brother Joseph all that had happened during the night at the king s 
house. I learned that his majesty was very indignant about the i-obbery that had 
taken place the day before, that he had entrusted the grindstone to his four or five 
wives, ordering anyone to be punished \\ith death who dated to unjustly appropriate 
it. Brother Joseph gave me also the names of the things that had been stolen by the 
natives in the canoe. Unfortunately they were all chiefs of high rank. Tungahala, on 
his side, learned from the natives the details of the depredations that had been committed. 
He seemed beside himself with indignation, and under its influence spoke to the natives 
who were inside the royal enclosure. We soon saw other natives arriving, dressed as for 
a fete and armed with lances. They did not seem to listen to Tungahala with pleasure, 
they went backwards and forwtrds in the royal enclosure and showed signs of great 
agitation. My interpreter told me that the subject of disagreement amongst them 
was partly the theft that had been committed and partly the restoration which Tungahala 
proposed they should make, and that it was very probable the natives would come to blows 
with their axes and that a fight would take place amongst them. Alas ! on our part we 
inwardly commended everything to God, to the protection of the angels and of their 
august queen. A few minutes after the argument had started, all the disputing 


chiefs gathered together in one of the houses within the royal enclosure, so as to speak 
with less noise before us strangers and to drink kava. It was there that their debate 
was to be concluded, and it appeared that the equitable propositions of Tungahala were 
finally agreed to. 

During their sitting I continued talking to my companions and to the children 
of the royal family. I noticed that the king had treated his two guests with great 
regard since yesterday, and taking all circumstances into consideration I felt confirmed 
in the hope that the Kingdom of Heaven was open for this people, and that there 
was no need to fear the difficulties and perils which the devil raises up, especially when 
he sees his kingdom going to ruin. 

At last the king, for whom we had been eagerly waiting, arrived. He received 
me very well, and manifested great displeasure at the theft committed by the natives 
he had himself sent to me. He immediately gave orders for all the stolen things to 
be returned; several of them were brought to me, but others had passed probably 
from hand to hand to other natives. We could not get them back that day, but 
the king gave me hopes that all would be restored. I stayed a little while with the 
king who made us drink kava, and then I left, bidding him farewell, and promising 
that hereafter I would return to Wallis to see him. He wished me a happy voyage, and 
thanked me for the members of my company I had left him in the persons of M. 
Bataillon and Brother Joseph. 

I had, unknown to the natives, given M. Bataillon a small sum of five or six 
hundred francs in case he should find it necessary to buy provisions from any vessel 
which might from time to time anchor at Wallis. Besides this, I gave him articles to 
exchange with the natives for the provisions of their country ; enough to enable them 
to live there for eight or nine months. The furniture of the mission contained 
everything that was necessary for the Holy Sacrifice and for the sacred ministration, 
and the necessary tools for carpentering and for cultivation. It is easy enough for a 
stranger to live at Wallis when he has articles of barter, and when the people, and 
above all the king, are disposed to regard him with good-will and friendship. This island 
abounds in cocoanut:-, bread-fruit, yams, sweet potatoes, and bananas. There are also 
great quantities of taros, of fish, and of birds. Pigs and fowls are also numerous there. 
For a European there is nothing wanting but flour, and even bread can be well replaced 
by the bread-fruit and yams. 

After saying farewell to the king, and secretly giving my blessing to the two I was 
leaving, I, with all my companions, returned to the schooner. I told the captain to 
make all ready for a voyage to the island of Futuna. During the day and a-half or two 
days that we still remained on the coast, the natives who visited us showed us every 
good-will, and my conversations with Tungahala, who was often in my company, gained for 
me much affection and devotion 011 his part. I gave him to hope that in six months I 
would see him again, or that other friends of my company would have occasion to come 
to Wallis. I was led to give him this promise, because nearly a year had elapsed since 
I left France, and consequently other funds allotted by the Society for the Propagation 
of the Faith shou d soon be remitted to me together with a batch of fresh missionaries, 
which would place me in a position to strengthen the work I had begun by adding 
another priest to M. Bataillon, and facilitate my pastoral visits for the time I had 
mentioned. Such were, the hopes my correspondence gave me. 



Futuna Establishment of the Second Mission Beneficial Conversation with the Chief Sam- 
Favourable Reception by King A Xative Dance Alarm of the Captain of the 
Schooner A Murderous Plot Departure from the Powerful Kings The Captain s Fears 
and Precautions The Alarm is Dissipated Departure for Kotumah Reflections on Tukin.-i, 
as regards the Administration of the Mission. 

E set sail for the island of Futuna on the 8th November Tungahala had asked 
me to take on board two or three native families whom he held in regard; I very 
willingly consented to his request. I owed him much gratitude, and I admired 
also i hat Providence wh ch, in the service I was rendering him, gave me an excellent 
opportunity of Leing well received by the people of Futuna. These families I was 
taking consisted of ten or twelve people, and nearly all belonged to the nobility. 
Although Futuna is an island entirely independent of the King of Wallis, one can sav, 
nevertheless, that the two peoples form but one, on account of the frequent visits they pay 
each other, the friendship that exists between them, and the intermarriages they con 
tract. One could scarcely, therefore, secure the conversion of one island without, at the 
same time, calling the other to the Kingdom of God. 

In quitting the island of Wallis I rejoiced before the Lord in the hopes of salva 
tion which He had given, in the very fact of the dangers and difficulties He had raised 
up in the founding of tlie mission. From the sea I blessed this new land and placed it 
under the special protection of Alary. 

After twenty-two hours sail the island of Futuna appeared before our eyes. We 
cast anchor in a small, handy little bay. This island has two rather large territories 
separated from each other by a small arm of the sea, thus forming two islands. One 
only of them is inhabited and contains about a thousand souls. On the other nothing is 
to be seen but some plantations of cocoanut and banana trees ; all the rest of the land 
discloses to the view a mountain desert without cultivation and covered with trees and 
brushwood. The inhabited island has the same produce as that of Wallis ; the valleys 
round the bays only are cultivated. The interior consists of a range of mountains 
covered with woods. Several signs of extinct volcanoes are noticeable. The people of 
Futuna, like those of Wallis, are half dressed, and of the same colour, that is to say, 
copper coloured. They have a peaceable and affable mien. I had received excellent 
accounts of their natural gifts as sa vages. 

We were received by the people with demonstrations of joy and gratitude for the 
visit we were paying them, and fur the service we were rendering them in bringing with 
us their relatives and friends. Several chiefs came on board immediately on our 
arrival. By means of the interpreter I was able to converse with them. After we had 
exchanged visits, and held conversations with them for about a day and a-half, they 
appeared to have conceived an affection for us and to be desirous that we should stay 
in their country. 

One of the principal chiefs, whose name was Sam, came to visit me on board ; he 
wished to speak to me privately, and I at once yielded to his desire. He seemed very 
rational and had even an air of civilization, which showed that he had been for some 
time in the company of Europeans. Tn fact, I learned that he had worked for five years 


on board a whaler belonging to New Holland, and luckily he had learned nothing but 
what was good from the sailors, and none of the evil which is too often found amongst 
them. I could understand this chief without the aid of an interpreter as he spoke 
passable English. This is what he said to me in private, " I know, sir, who you are ; 
you are a great minister of the true God ; love us, remain on this island and instruct us, 
we will listen to you and cherish you." I said to him that I would comply with his 
desires after having seriously examined them and consulted the true God, and that I 
would endeavour in the voyages I had to make to provide for the people of Futuna. 
In short, 1 added that the next morning I would give him a definite answer, and in 
the meantime would consider his request. 

During the day on which we had held this conversation, I held a conference with 
my pro-vicar M. Chanel and M. Servant ; we recommended the matter to God, and 
the next day I decided to go at once and establish a missionary station on this island, 
which I would leave in charge of M. Chanel himself, assisted by Brother Marie-Nisier, 
a catechist, and I bade them hope that in six months another priest would come and 
join them. After that, we did nothing hut busy ourselves in secretly preparing in the 
hold of the vessel the furniture needful for this new station. 

While this work was being done, I went, accompanied by M. Chanel and the 
chief Sam (to whom I had given the answer he wished for) to the house of the greatest 
chief in the island, whose name was Niuriki. There was no one in the house but the 
women and children and some other natives belonging to the court. As for himself he 
was away ; but we were well received. A pel-son of the household was quickly sent to 
a neighbouring village after him, to inform him that strangers wished to see him. He 
was not long in coming to us. Niuriki had an air of affability, was passably dressed 
and dignified. His welcome was most friendly; lie made me sit in a place of distinction at 
his side, and ordered the celebration of a " kavas ;" during that time we conversed. 
Several of the native nobles of the neighbourhood came to swell the numbers of our 
company, and to listen to all we had to say, I made Niuriki and all these people, the 
same propositions I had made to the King of \\allis. Niuriki, who had already learned 
the conduct of that king towards me, received all my propositions with gratitude. The 
members of his family and all ihe natives of the company, far from offering any signs of 
opposition, displayed satisfaction and joy. Not only did they want us to drink " kava," 
but wished us to accept a banquet in celebration of our visit to the principal king of the 
island They hastened to slaughter pigs, which they baked in holes in the ground. They 
served them up afterwards with yams and bananas. It made a capital supper for us, 
as we were very hungry; the day was advanced and we had left our boat at eight 
o clock in the morning after breakfast. At supper they gave us kava to drink several 
times, and gave themselves over to a peaceable gaiety. As I wished to take leave of the 
king and go to sleep on board the schooner, I offered, through my interpreter, several 
friendly presents to his majesty, who received them with much pleasure, but he 
observed that we could not start so early as the tide covered the shore over which 
we must pass to reach the schooner. So we were obliged to remain witli him. All 
the natives also seemed very anxious to keep us amongst them. 

It was already night, and \ve waited more than two hours for the tide to run out 
enough to permit us to go on our road. During that time I continued to converse with 
the king and his family. His majesty discreetly asked my interpreter whether I should 
be offended if he caused one of the dances of his country to be celebrated in my honour, 
alleging as a motive that he was desirous that the king of my country should learn ho\v 
much he honoured and esteemed the subjects belonging to him. As I, for my part, wanted 
to study their habits, I replied to the king that I was very sensible of the honour he was 
pleased to render me, and, trusting that there was nothing indecent in their festival, I 
would gladly witness their enjoyment. The signal being given, the natives at once 
commenced the festival. Several of them formed a group by themselves, seated on the 
ground, beating time with sticks on the mats which served as flooring to the hut, 
and singing w.^ll together. In the centre, on one side, were the men and boys, and on 


the other side the women and girls. Thus apart, they executed a dance which seemed 
to have nothing immodest in it. So 1 was far from saying anythinv unpleasant to the 
king about the fete with which he was honouring us. These people only hold these 
sort of rejoicings when they wish to show their affection for travellers whom they esteem. 

The tide, however, after the fete had lasted several hours, not having yet left the 
road dry, they became tired of the dancing, sat on the mats, conversed a little while, 
and finished by sleeping in the king s hut. We were equally tired and stretched 
ourselves out in our places close to the king, who speedily followed our example. So 
the deepest silence followed the talking, and singing, and games. Some of the natives 
had received orders from the king to awaken us when the tide should have run out 
enough to permit us to proceed. 

Scarcely had we commenced to sleep when we heard the noise of oars in a boat of 
Europeans, and the sound of voices, talking. The natives got up and ran to the shore, 
which was a little distance from us, to see what was the matter. The boat grounded: 
it contained six Europeans from the schooner who had come to look for us. Four of 
them landed; the other two remained in the boat which they pushed off a little way 
from the shore. The leader of the company came to me and said, quite low, and in 
tones of alarm, " Monseigneur, 1 am &ent by the captain to inform you of the danger you 
run, and to deliver you from it by means of a prompt flight in the boat which I have 
brought, and in which are guns and swords in case they should be necessary." I 
asked this man what motives for fear they had on board the schooner. Then he told me 
the following story : " There are in this island two kings, one called the powerful king, 
with whom you are now, and the other the feeble king, who lives at the extremity 
of the opposite end of this island. This one has grown jealous of the other on account 
of the very visit you are now making him. A native of the bay in which the schooner is 
anchored, came and divulged a plot that the people of the feeble king had planned against 
you and your companions. They had resolved to murder you all this very night ; and 
the well-disposed native who had discovered the plot expressed himself after the following 
fashion to several of the members on board : Alas ! those strangers whom we love, will 
never again see the sun rise. ; " It must be noted, however, that the informer was so 
tipsy that )>e fell down several times. Then I told the man who had told me all this 
that we could not place much reliance on the testimony of a drunken native, and 
advised him not to let the king or any of the natives with whom we then were, know 
anything about it, so that he should not be worried and no cause of strife should arise 
between his followers and those of the feeble king. At the same time, prudence 
indicated plainly enough that I ought to return in the boat which had been brought for 
me, instead of making the journey by land, where evil-disposed natives were reputed to 
be lying in wait to slaughter myself and my companions. 

T stayed a little while longer with the king, then we bade him farewell, and directed 
our steps towards the shore where the boat lay. The natives accompanied us. 
The, king asked to come with me in the boat to pay me a visit on board. This proposal 
rather embarrassed me : I did not wish him to see the arms that the Europeans had 
brought from on board with them, and above all I did not wish him to learn the motives 
that had induced the captain to send for me. That would, in fact, be to tell him of the 
suspicions we entertained of the feeble king s party. This could not have failed to sow 
the seeds of war in the island. So T strove to find several plausible reasons for not 
returning on board in the boat but of going by land. Four of the crew, well armed, 
took the boat back to the schooner. The two others remained with me, and I started 
with my companions along the sea beach, where the tide now left us a free passage. 
The king and all the natives seemed satisfied with what 1 had determined on. His 
majesty accompanied me for a considerable distance, then about forty natives of his tribe 
followed me as far as the bay, where my schooner was at anchor, which was about three 
hours walk from the powerful king s house. The tribes belonging to this bay were 
under the feeble king. While we were walking, the troop of natives who accompanied 
us continued to divert us with songs, exceedingly well execiited, which they improvised. 


and caused the neighbouring mountains to echo again in the silence of the night. I hid 
them farewell when we reached the bay. They remained on shore to sleep, and T, with 
my followers, went on board to seek some repose. 

When I arrived on the deck the captain came to receive me. He took me by the 
hand and saluted me. He seemed still quite alarmed and was surprised to see me alive. 
Tn fact, a sort of panic of terror had seized upon him and all on board, after having 
heard from the drunken native that the sun was not to rise on us again. He had 
immediately armed with guns and swords all the men on board, who numbered twenty- 
two, that is to say, seven of the crew and fourteen shipwrecked men whom we had 
picked up on this island, and who, in the name of humanity, had begged for a passage to 
the island of Ratuma, which is only about a hundred and twenty leagues from Futuna. 
When the report was spread in the bay where the schooner was that 1 was to be 
murdered on shore at the house cf the powerful king, the captain armed a boat in which 
were ten men, to whom he distributed packets of cartridges. He ordered them to 
go on shore and march in a body to find me and to use force to whoever opposed their 
passage. Although these men were of English nationality, and of the Protestant 
religion, they showed great devotion under the circumstances in coming to deliver 
from danger a Bishop and a French Catholic priest. They did not hesitate to execute 
the captain s orders with great resolution. Seated in the ship s boat and armed to 
the teeth, tlu?y crossed the bay and landed in the midst of a crowd of natives who were 
gathered on the beach. The cause of their meeting, so I was toM next day, was a feast of 
merry-making. AVas this false? Was the report of the drunken native true? This has 
always remained a mystery to us. Tn any case this numerous gathering of natives on 
the shores of the bay which I had to pass in returning from the powerful king s 
to reach the schooner this gathering, I say, added to the alarming news which 
preceded it, and caused the captain and all the crew the greatest fears for our lives. 
\Vhen the armed men landed from the boat, they went into the middle of the crowd 
with a resolute air and ready to tight. Some of them tired off their guns in the air 
in order to frighten the savages and thus break up the crowd. It is possible that 
these natives had 110 evil intentions in gathering together in a crowd at this bay. 
They did not appear frightened, and showed no signs of fear either at our armed 
men or at the shots they tired. It was a Providence that nothing disastrous occurred 
under the circumstances, for in many other places the people would not have been 
so peaceable ; a tight might have taken place and much blood have been spilled. 
But, thanks be to (Jod, who watched over our safety and our lives, no accident 
happened. Xo other evil ensued thun the fear which had seized upon the captain 
and his crew. The men who had landed all armed, and who saw the peaceful state of the 
people gathered there, and the utter impossibility, owing to the tide covering the beach, 
of making a three hours journey along the shore to come and join me, set out again 
in the boat to reach me by sea. 

Xext day I received several chiefs on board. Amongst them was Sam. 1 learned 
from them that we were much beloved on the island, and that they were most anxious 
to have us, and that, above all, the powerful king counted on my word to leave with 
him two friends from my company. I did not fail on my side to entertain the 
good proposals they made me. I let Niuriki know that my two companions were 
getting their luggage ready to come and live with him, and 1 sent to the feeble king- 
to let him know that I would endeavour to visit him before leaving the island. 
Everything was reassuring and peaceful, both on the island and on board, so two days 
afterwards, \\hen the furniture for the station was leady, I sent, unknown to the 
natives. M. Chanel and the catechist Marie-Nisier, with all their belongings, to the 
powerful king, who was to build a house for their use whilst staying on the island. 
Before they left me 1 gave them my blessing and received their farewells, giving 
them as well as the people the hope of a future visit from me, and the addition of 
another priest. 

Although the bay in which we lay had good anchorage, yet it became dangerous 


when westerly, or above all, South winds prevailed, which was not long in happening 
during our stay. The captain urged me to leave in order to escape being shipwrecked 
in port. Foreseeing that I should be unable to pay the visit T had promised to the 
feeble king, I gave some little presents to M. Chanel, which I charged him to give him. 
i made the chief Sam who was his son, understand the danger the vessel would be in if 
I did not promptly quit the island, and I sent by the same chief expressions of good-will 
and friendship to his father, with the hope that I should see him hereafter. All my words 
were well received by the chiefs who were listening to me. They 1 ade me farewell with 
affection, expressed their desire for my return, embarked in their canoes, and returned 
on shore. The captain hove up the anchor, and we set sail for the island of RoLuma. 
Before we got very far from Futuna, I gazed on it, blessing the Lord for having laid open 
to it the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, and for having delivered us from so 
many alarming perils. T gave my blessing to this island which held out such happy 
hopes of salvation. Futuna and Wallis, without knowing it, had received the ministers 
of the true religion, and had thereby been snatched from the fanaticism of Wes- 
leyan heresy, which coveted them as well s Vuvau and the neighbouring islands. 

The two missionary stations which I had just founded at Wallis and Futuna, fulfilled 
several of the ends which I had in view, namely, the saving of these two islands from 
heresy, and the facility for learning the language of the Friendly Islands in countries 
which were entirely infidel, and into which the Protestant missionaries had not as yet 
penetrated. But from these two spots, it was impossible for the Vicar Apostolic to 
hold frequent and regular communication with the other islands and witli Europe. 
In order to do that, it would be necessary to have a schooner belonging to the mission, 
and also that the two islands should be completely converted to the faith and the 
natives have corrected their habits, their cupidity, their cruelty, and their can 
nibalism. Cannibalism existed, it is true, only at Futuna. But in both islands the 
inhabitants were given to murdering strangers to enable them to plunder them at 
their ease. Prudence exacts that no traveller should land too many things, and 
should not even allow them to see what is on board. So it was of no use for me to 
think of establishing a store and a place of temporal administration for all our 
missions among these people until they had become leally converted to the faith and 
entirely changed. 

Nevertheless, a store and place of administration were indispensable to the success 
of the work in Oceania ; it had to be, if not at one of the missionary stations, at least 
at some civilised place, and close to the limits of my jurisdiction. I cast my eyes, 
then, on either Sydney, in New Holland, where there was an English colony, a large 
ci y, and a Bishop Vicar Apostolic ; or, on the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, 
which was one of the largest islands in my mission, and which already had frequent 
communication with Europe by means of vessels from New Holland, and by French 
and American whalers which often anchored in that port. Such was the information I 
received anout these countries. Besides, I had learnt that the large archipelago of New 
Zealand was already infested in several places by various Pro estant sects, who 
were spreading further and further, so that if I did not hasten to establish a 
mission, I should run the risk later on of not being able to penetrate there at all, 
owing to the Protestant and civil intolerance obtaining in those seas. I determined, 
therefore to go there and found the mission myself and attend personally to the 
working of it. But I wished on my way to call at Rotuma, an island of about five or 
six thousand souls, a people who as natives were very interesting; then I purposed 
making a short stay at Sydney so that I might lietter settle my plans for the establish 
ment of a store, and also to make the acquaintance there of Monseigneur Polcling, 
who was the Bishop Vicar Apostolic of New Holland, and whose mission adjoined 



Rotuma and Sydney Short Stay at Botuma Arrival at Sydney. 

E arrived at Rotuma, after three days sail, on about the fifteenth of November, 
1837. The people of this island showed themselves hospitable and friendly. 
Two of the principal chiefs, who had come on board to visit us the moment 
we anchored, invited me to come and visit them on shore and see the island. \ 
accepted their friendly otter. One of them understood English very fairly, from the 
fact that their shores were often visited by English and American whalers. I 
hastened on shore with M. Servant, the only missionary left me, and a catechist. The 
two chiefs, our conductors, who were brothers, led us to their place ; their hut was 
spacious and situated in the middle of other huts belonging to the people, and on a vast 
plain covered with cocoanut and other tropical trees. This island is a huge grove and 
presents a lovely sight to the eye. 

The chiefs who had so warmly welcomed me were most anxious that we should 
settle on their island ; knowing us to be well-infonned travellers, desiious of stayin^ 
in the islands of Polynesia and doing good to the people who inhabited them. They 
had also some idea that we were ministers of the Christian religion ; but they had found 
out for certain that we were quite different to the Protestant missionaries, whom they 
would on no account receive in their island ; for, said they, they are wicked and nog the 
natives who smoke tobacco. As for ourselves, they pressed us to stay with them. I gave 
them hopes that later on I would return and see them and endeavour to form an 
establishment at Rotuma. They were satisfied with my expressions of good-will and 
friendship. For my own part I regretted that I was unable to at once settle in this 
island, but my object was only to prepare the way for the reception hereafter of the new 
missionaries 1 was expecting from Europe. Rotuma, despite all the charms of its 
position, and the present good disposition of its people, would not do for a place of 
administration and store for the whole mission, for there is no safe harbour. Regular 
trading vessels do not come there; the only vessels that come are whalers, and their 
cruises are as erratic as those of the whales whom they hunt, and on account of the state 
of infidelity in which the natives of Rotuma at present are, and of the vice of cupidity 
which obtains amongst them as amongst all the other savages. T therefore took my 
leave of the two friendly chiefs. On my departure, they presented me with a beautiful 
whale-bone stick and a magnificent pine-apple, which they sent on board the schooner. 
These presents were at the same time a mark of their affection and esteem, and a sign of 
the confidence they had that T would carry out my promises respecting them. 

The next day we weighed anchor and set sail for Sydney. As the captain had not 
enough provisions oil board the schooner for his crew and all the shipwrecked men he 
had taken on board, it was settled that six of the latter should remain at Rotuma, 
waiting the first chance of some whaler coming to these shores, and that the remainder 
should be taken to Sydney. "We had a pleasant passage to that city from Rotuma; we 
passed between the islands of Fiji and New Caledonia, but did not call in anywhere. 

After a twenty-three days passage we arrived in Sydney harbour at night time ; it 
was the 9th December. That same evening I wrote to Monseigneur Folding, informing 
him of my arrival. His Grace had been in charge of the New Holland Mission some 
three or four years, and had his residence in Sydney, but that evening he was absent. 


Two of his priests came on board to visit me and inform me of the absence of their 
Bishop. The next morning His Grace arrived. I said Holy Mass in his church. He 
received me with great respect and kindness, offering me the hospitality of his palace, 
where I and M. Servant lived during the whole of the short stay I made at Sydney. 
On the first day, all the travellers I had brought on board where sent to their homes as 
they had wished. 

In this city I received much useful information as to establishing a store, either at 
this place, at the Bay of Islands, or at Hokianga in New Zealand. I saw how easy it 
Avould be to hold communication with Europe by way of Sydney, whose harbour is 
frequented by ships from London and Liverpool, and by schooners which trade with 
New Zealand and other tropical islands of Oceania. The English authorities of the 
colony of Sydney gave me a civil and kindly welcome. Monseigneur Folding was 
willing to take charge of several cases belonging to my mission, which contained 
provisions, books, objects necessary for the work and for industrial matters, which were 
to be given to the stations of my missionaries as soon as they were required and 
prudence would allow of their being sent amongst a race of savages whose covetousness 
had been subdued. Monseigneur Folding had also the kindness to permit one of his 
priests, M. McEncroe, who assisted him at Sydney, and who had the goodness to offer 
me his services, to execute my commissions and facilitate my correspondence by receiving 
letters for Europe which I would send him from New Zealand, whither I was about to 
carry the Holy Catholic ministry. Admirable spirit of Jesus Christ which unites all 
true pastors in the work of the salvation of souls ! How grateful I was for the services 
that were offered to me ! I passed rny Christmas at Sydney, then I bade farewell to 
Monseigneur Folding, with whom I had recently made friends. His Grace accompanied 
me to my schooner, where we exchanged the fraternal accolade. 

When we had left the port and were a little out on the open sea, I gave my blessing 
to the Mission at New Holland, as I had been requested to do when leaving by the 
venerable prelate who directed it ; then I recited the Itinerary with my companions, and 
we sailed for Hokianga, in New Zealand, wheie I had learnt there were great native 
chiefs and a few scattered Irish families, who were timber traders, supplying the neigh 
bouring colonies, and who were totally deprived of the succours of religion. Monseigneur 
Folding gave me a letter of introduction to these families, so that we should become 
known at once, and might obtain accommodation whilst we were learning the language 
and getting a house of boards built at some spot that would afford easy access to the 
natives and the whites who lived in that part of the island. 



Arrival in New Zealand Early Difficulties and Trials The First Mission Station and its 
surroundings Origin of the Protestant Missions Elements of Persecution Danger of 
Pillage Experiences with the Wirinaki Tribe Danger to the Lives of the Vicar-Apostolic 
and his Priest. 

N Wednesday, the 10th of January, 1858, we arrived at the entrance to the 
Hokianga lliver, which is on the north-west coast of the North Island of New 
Zealand, after a pleasant passage of twelve days. We went about eighteen 
leagues up this big river into the interior of the country in the schooner. A European 
pilot established at the mouth of the river took us up safe and sound. We landed at an 
Irish timber merchant s, who was a Catholic, and who had been legitimately married at 
Sydney.* He had been living in New Zealand for ten years. He wished to give up to 
me the best of his wooden houses, and undertook to build one for me at a reasonable 
price at any spot I might choose in the country. The one lie offered me consisted of 
four small rooms and a garret. While waiting for him to build the other, I converted 
the principal room of this one into a sort of temporary chapel, erecting in it my 
missionary altar, and on the following Saturday, for the first time, the blood (f Jesus 
Christ flowed in this island at the sacrifice of the Mass, which I celebrated, and which 
had probably never before been celebrated in New Zealand. W T hat vows for salvation 
were offered to God on that day, consecrated to Mary, and which crowned the octave of 
the Epiphany ! I confided this Mission to the most Holy Virgin under the name of the 
Assumption. The whole of the Apostolic Vicariate was placed under the name of the 
Immaculate Conception. The station at Wallis was under the patronage of St. John the 
Baptist, and that of Futuna under that of St. Francis of Assisi. 

From Hokianga I hastened to send back the schooner Raiatea to its owner at 
Tahiti, and I testified to the captain my sincere gratitude for his services and devotion. 
Then we remained quietly in the house which we occupied, but our repose was not of long 
duration, and we applied ourselves diligently to improve our knowledge of English and 
to learning Maori. Our dwelling was on the banks of the Driver Hokianga, at a place 
called Totara ; we were thus pretty well isolated from the native tribes, who are called 
Maoris. Their complexion is somewhat the colour of copper, they have regular features, 
generally smooth hair, are above the medium height and of a strong constitution ; they are 
tattooed about the face, and have a manly and warlike bearing. Several came, from time 
to time, to see us ; some of them were infidels, others neophytes of the Wesleyan 
Protestants. The former saluted us with sufficiently good grace, but the latter hardly 
dared come near to look at us. We knew nothing of their language, and could hold no 
conversation with them : all we knew were a few words of salutation in use among 
them, and there our knowledge ended. 

Hokianga is a large district in the north of the North Island of New Zealand, 
which is a vast archipelago composed of three islands, called Te Ika Na Maui (the fish of 
Maui) ; the second Te Wai Pounamu (the water which furnishes these people with 
greenstone this is a stone green in colour and very hard). The third, much smaller 

* His name was Poynton, and he is still living. He resides at Takapuna (near Auckland), and 
is well known to me. JOHN EDMUND LUCK, O.S.B. Sept. oth, 1885. 


than the other two, is called Stewart s Island. The extremity of the North Island is in 
about latitude 35 degrees south, and the extremity of the South Island is in about 48 
degrees. The climate is temperate ; the country is covered with forests and ferns, very 
mountainous, frequently traversed by rivers which are formed and fed from their sources 
by the rains, torrents, and tides. There is no kind of venomous or savage animal, but a 
large quantity of birds, many of which make excellent food, such as the pigeon and wild 
duck. Shell-fish abound there, and the rivers and ponds inland swarm with eels. The 
natives make great use of these gifts with which Providence has furnished them. 

After we had put our new establishment a little to rights, we applied ourselves to 
the study of English and Maori. English above all was indispensable to the Vicar- 
Apostolic in administering the mission in these seas, and for travelling from one island to 
another ; and it is extremely useful to every missionary in Oceania in enabling him to 
carry out his ministrations with regard to the English and Americans whom one 
frequently encounters in one place or another. A knowledge of Maori is absolutely 
necessary for preaching the faith to the New Zealanders, for these people know no other 
language than their own. 

While we were occupying ourselves quietly in studying languages, I took every 
pains to inform myself about the localities, the numbers of the tribes of savages, 
about their manners and customs, and as to what facilities the river Hokianga 
would afford me in holding communications connected with the mission within and 
without, and in establishing a store and a place of central administration. I soon 
s-iw that vessels did not visit these ports sufficiently often, and that it would be 
difficult to carry out the plans I had in view. But I learnt with pleasure that 
the I ay of Islands, which is about twenty leagues from Hokianga on the East 
Coast, possessed an excellent harbour, and the frequent communication which I desired. 
However, we continued to stay at Hokianga to learn the language of the country, to 
ripen my plans for forming an establishment, and to wait there for fresh help from 
Europe, which would enable me to realise my projects. 

I was not long in ascertaining at Hokianga the state in which the Protestant missions 
were in New Zealand, these facts being but superficially known in Europe. Their origin 
dated back to more than twenty years before my arrival in the country. In coming to New 
Zealand, I had the same intentions as I carried out in the tropics, namely, to commence 
learning the language of the people and evangelising at some part of the country where 
infidelity only existed, and not heresy, which would have acquired the language of the 
country before ourselves. I had gained my end in establishing the stations of Wallis 
and Futuna ; but I was not so fortunate in New Zealand. When settling myself at 
Hokianga, I did not reckon on finding myself quite close to a Methodist missionary 
station, which had been established at this place some five or six years, and which had 
four or five hundred native disciples, who followed their teaching. Furthermore, in a 
circle of about twenty leagues, at regular distances, were seven other Protestant mis 
sionary stations, either Methodist or Anglican ; and, contrary to my intentions, Providence 
had fixed my first residence in the very midst of all these stations. There was nothing 
for it but to abandon myself to its guidance and to learn as quickly as might be the 
necessary languages. 

Our arrival at Hokianga did not fail to become at once known to the Protestant 
missionaries, more especially to the Methodists, who were in the immediate neighbour 
hood. They seemed to be alarmed at the arrival in the country of a Catholic minister, 
and went amongst all the native tribes striving to prejudice them against us ; telling 
them that we were bringing them wooden gods, that we intended to seize upon their 
country, to slay or burn them, that our doctrines were full of errors and wickedness ; in 
short, that we were a calamity of which it would be needful to rid the country as soon 
as possible. Such were the deadly calumnies that circulated everywhere. Although the 
infidel New Zealanders, who were warriors and cannibals, finished by paying no attention 
to the calumnies which the Protestant missionaries were spreading about, still the dis 
ciples of the latter believed what they said. 


Twelve days after our arrival we incurred great danger. It was early iu the 
morning of Monday, the 22nd January. Some thirty Methodist natives who were 
returning after their Sunday duties that is, from their missionaries had to pass our 
house on their way up the river in canoes, to reach their settlement. When they arrived 
at our house they landed, and seated themselves in a half-circle on the ground surround 
ing the front of our residence. It was just daybreak, and we were getting up. The 
catechist was already afoot. He opened the door and saw before him all the natives 
seated round. He did not pay much attention to them, thinking that these people had 
come to pay me a friendly visit, a thing that had happened to us on the part of other 
natives 011 several occasions. So he contented himself with coming to tell me that a 
number of natives were outside, waiting to see me, and I hurried out to receive them. 
When I got to the door I cast kindly glances on the company, but they remained cold, 
and several of them looked askance at me with angry and defiant glances, As I had not 
yet mastered their language I was unable to say a single word ; I saw they had evil in 
tentions, but I did not let them see that I had divined this from their stern looks and 
attitudes. I surveyed them calmly, and walked up and down in front of the door, waiting 
for an interpreter for whom I had sent and who was a near neighbour. He hastened to 
come to me. I spoke with him for a few moments, and he noticed as quickly as myself 
that the natives were not in a good humour. We consulted together as to what would 
be the most prudent means to employ in order to soothe and enlighten them. Pro 
vidence sent to me also a chief of a tribe that possessed great influence, who had paid me 
a visit a few days before, and who had not only displayed confidence in me, but even 
evinced a desire to be taught about the true God through my ministration. His 
presence was far from being useless in the critical position in which I was placed. 
There was also another European, a sawyer, who knew Maori well and who was trusted 
by the natives. 

After 1 had spoken privately to the first European, who was iny neighbour and who 
had lent me the house in which I lived, he advanced a few paces into the half-circle 
formed by the natives in front of us and asked them what they wanted. The greater 
number of them were chiefs of a certain rank ; they had with them their wives and 
children. One of these chiefs rose with much emotion ; he spoke warmly, with an 
animated action, emphasising his words with rapid motions of his head, hands, and feet; 
he spoke thus for some time, then remained standing in silence, the perspiration running 
down his face. He waited for the European interpreter to answer him. He in his turn 
commenced to speak and the native sat down, listening with attention, as did the entire 
assembly. When the European had finished, another native rose and took Up the 
discourse. He moved about like the first one and then stopped, waiting for an answer, 
which the interpreter at once gave him. After that a third chief rose up and spoke with 
the same gesticulations as the two former ones. An argument ensued between him and 
the European interpreter, words were exchanged with warmth. Alas ! understanding 
nothing of these speeches, which were being made in Maori, I could only inwardly 
recommend to God the efforts of the interpreter, that they might be crowned with success, 
and at the same time I offered to God the sacrifice of our lives if it were His will that we 
should be murdered that day. 

As the discussion was prolonged and I understood nothing and saw that my presence 
was useless, I retired into the house to recite matins and lauds which I had left unsaid 
the previous day. I left M. Servant to observe what passed. From a seat in the 
window of my room I could see all that was going on in front of the house. The 
discussion lasted for fully three-quarters of an hour. But as I finished my breviary the 
European interpreter came to me in the room to tell me that he had been successful in 
persuading the natives to abandon their evil designs and to remain peaceable. I asked 
him what their intentions had been. He replied that they had intended breaking the 
images, the crucifix, and a statue of the Holy Virgin, which were in the principal room in 
my house ; then to seize M. Servant and myself and take us in their canoes up the 
river, into which they would probably have cast us, and that this was the result of advice 


given them by tlieir Methodist missionaries, who desired them to make this attempt. I 
thanked the interpreter for his good services, and I blessed God, the Master of our lives 
and hearts, that He had vouchsafed that day to deliver us from a great danger. 

I caused the natives, who had grown calm and ashamed of having followed bad 
advice, to be informed that I bore them no ill-will, and that I invited them to enter my 
house and shake hands as a sign of peace and friendship. At first they did not dare to 
enter, saying they felt too ashamed. But I pressed my invitation, by means of the 
interpreter, and they decided upon coming in. We i-eceived them cordially, shook hands 
and conversed with them all. They asked us very many questions, which compelled me 
to let them know that we had left relations, friends and home in Europe to come to them 
so far away in New Zealand ; that we had nothing in view but the doing of good, leaving 
to the chiefs and the people their authority and everything that belonged to them ; that 
we were the ministers of the true God and of His church ; that we came to instruct 
those who were willing to listen to us, and to leave in peace those who desired to know 
nothing of our doctrines ; that we had in no wise come to amass the good things of this 
world, but to give away those of the other world ; lastly, that we had neither wives nor 
children, and that our hearts and bodies were consecrated to God, to have no other care 
than that of serving Him and the salvation of the people. These natives were quite 
surprised to hear these things. Several of their wives, who accompanied them, seemed 
especially overcome with emotion, lifting their eyes to heaven, clapping their hands and 
exclaiming : " Oh ! is it possible that these strangers are so good, and that we wished to 
kill them ! " After some time spent in conversation, the natives took leave of us, 
shaking hands affectionately and promising that they would never come again to disturb 
me or my dwelling. 

The day after our deliverance I was able to get a boat to go and visit some families 
of white people who lived a long way off, on the banks of the river Hokianga. I began 
by paying then a pastoral visit. 1 was anxious also to visit some native tribes who had 
not as yet embraced any of the Protestant sects. I had witli me M. Servant, an inter 
preter, and several other Catholic Europeans. Four of these offered their services to 
pull the boat. The few Catholic families who were at Hokianga showed great joy at 
being able to procure in the country the spiritual aid of a legitimate minister. 

After having gone about ten leagues up the river we reached a tribe called the 
Wirinaki, consisting of about four hundred natives, the most populous and powerful, and, 
at the same time, the most feared and wicked tribe in Hokianga, constantly resisting the 
advances of the Protestant ministers. Not long before, being desirous of seizing a 
European vessel, they had waged a most desperate combat with those on board and with 
other natives who had sided with the whites. These people were feared not only by the 
few Europeans who lived at Hokianga, but even by the natives of the neighbouring 
tribes. They had only one name for the Wirinaki the " wicked tribe." At the same 
time, the natives of this part were intelligent, lively, and very open-hearted. They gave 
me a favourable reception. One of the principal chiefs said to all his people in our 
presence : " These two strangers have neither wives nor children ; they do not appear to 
be well off. These are ministers of the true God." 

It is as well to remark here that this and several other tribes at Hokianga and the 
Bay of Islands had known for some years that the ministers of the true Church were 
unmarried, that they would come to New Zealand, and should be easily recognisable by 
the celibacy which they practised. From whence had they got this tradition 1 It is 
difficult to find out at the present day. According to some of the natives a spirit had 
foretold these things to some of their forefathers. 

When the chief of the Wirinaki tribe announced to the assembled people that I and 
M. Servant were the ministers of the true God a favourable impression was visible in 
their countenance. We remained all the afternoon at this place, and had a long talk 
about religion and the true Church. When night came they begged us to share their 
supper of potatoes and fish, and to remain the night witli them. I willingly accepted all 


their offers. During the evening they gave us a splendid fete. The men and the young 
folks sat in a group in front of the hut, which had been offered to us to pass the night in. 
They sang all manner of songs to show their goodwill and affection. The women and 
young girls ran about hither and thither as a sign of rejoicing, carrying bundles of 
lighted twigs in their hands. It was only when the night was far advanced that they 
left us to sleep in peace. 

Early the next morning the crowd increased. They had come from all sides to see 
us. A sense of contentment was to be remarked in the crowd. We breakfasted with 
these people, who served us apart with a small basket of their food. Before we left they 
expressed a desire that I should say a prayer from our holy religion. I complied, reciting 
several in Latin on my knees. All the Catholic Europeans joined with me, and when we 
had finished the natives cried out, " Kapai ! Kapai ! " (Very good ! Very good ! ) 

This appeared a veritable day of grace for the tribe known as " the wicked tribe." 
The principal chiefs wanted us to fix our abode with them at once. They offered to give 
us any bit of land that might suit us, to give their labour to build a house, and their 
young people to wait upon us. I thanked these chiefs greatly for the confidence and 
affection they testified, and I gave them to understand that though I could not 
immediately avail myself of their offers, yet I was far from declining them ; that as yet, 
being unacquainted with their language, I would return to where I was temporarily 
residing, in order to learn it, and as soon as I had acquired it I would come back and 
settle everything with them. We shook hands, and they promised to wait our coming, 
and to follow no other teaching than that of the Mother Church. For ourselves, we 
started for home, blessing God for His grace to the most wicked of the Hokianga tribes, 
which, notwithstanding, had shown such an interesting disposition towards salvation. 

Upon returning to our residence at Totara, we busied ourselves still more studying 
the languages. Several Europeans and some of the natives came pretty regularly to 
mass on Sundays. The English Catholics hastened to confess themselves and receive the 
sacraments ; those of their children, some of them rather big, who had not been baptized, 
received Holy Baptism. A chief of a tribe, whose name was Tiro, and several native 
women who were living with Europeans, begged me to baptize them also, because they 
wished to be married by the Catholic Church, and they could not receive the nuptial bene 
diction without being previously baptized. I instructed them, therefore, in the principal 
truths of salvation, and within a space of two months I baptized and married them. 

Nevertheless, we did not enjoy much tranquillity during this time. Several times 
each week we heard alarming rumours that were spreading over the country. It was said 
they were coming to take us by force, put us 011 board some vessel, and expel us from New 
Zealand ; that the people of such and such a tribe were coming to plunder and murder 
us and burn down our house ; and then we heard that when I went up the river (which 
was bordered by forests) I should be fired at by natives who were lying in ambush for 
me. Sometimes we saw canoes full of natives, who came up our side of the river making 
the same signals with their paddles that they are accustomed to employ in time of war. 
They uttered horrible yells, and then retired without doing us any harm. The best 
European Catholics were terrified at our position in the country ; they believed them 
selves to be endangered by us. They complained that we were French, and had no 
Consul representing our country in New Zealand ; and added that I had better quit the 
country and leave the mission for some English priests, who would be protected by the 
authorities of New Holland. But I looked upon these rumours which were being cir 
culated in the country as merely a means taken to frighten me, and having their origin 
in the ill-will of the Protestant ministers, while I considered the advice of the frightened 
Catholics as being dictated by a timid policy. I paid no heed either to the murderous 
rumours of heresy or the discouraging advice of policy ; my trust was in the Lord, and it 
was far from my thoughts to abandon His work of salvation in New Zealand. On the 
contrary, I continued to see that my orders were carried out to build a house of boards in 
a central spot in Hokianga, where I might reside and establish a missionary station. 



A Providential OccuiTcnce More Persecutions Deliverance by the French Navy Change of 
Residence The Installation Ceremony First Sermon in Maori Last attempts of the 
Protestants to drive us from the Country Circumstances favourable to the Catholic 
Religion Advantages of Heresy Mercantile Proceedings of Protestantism Temporal 
Help prevented Severe Disappointment of the Vicar-Apostolic. 

FTER :i stay of two mouths, dating from our arrival in the country, a beneficial 
event happened which greatly impressed a number of people. A little child 
who had been very ill for some time, and who was at the point of death, was 
In ought to me by his father, a native, to be b-jpti/ed. This native had learned that when 
one died after baptism the soul went to dwell in the light near to the true God. Pie 
>/ishe:l, therefore, the soul of his child to have that happiness. He presented him to me, 
holding him in his arms, saying that he did not ask for any remedy for the body of the 
child, whose face was already covered with the death-sweat, but lie begged of me to 
baptixe him. I hastened to comply with his request, showing every consideration in my 
power for the sentiments that inspired him. But his child did not die at all, and before 
two days had passed was in perfect health, without any remedy having been applied. 
Soon the reports that were made about this providential event among the natives reached 
our ears. Everywhere the people said that the God of the Catholic Bishop was a good 

At the same time calumnies of every description against the Catholic Church and its 
ministers continued to be spread over the country by the ministers of heresy. Every 
week brought us rumours of pillage, death, exile, or incendiarism. But God helping us 
with His power, we remained calm and unshaken in the midst of the fright with which 
they sought to inspire us. Providence ordained at this juncture that a letter of 
protection which I had from the Minister of the French navy should be published in the 
New Holland newspapers, and come under the notice of the European Protestants of 
New Zealand. 

While these things were happening, the corvette the Heroine came from 
France, and entered .Sydney harbour, where she remained for some days. The 
commander, Captain Cecile, soon learned that T was being persecuted in New Zealand, 
and that I was expected to come to Sydney for an asylum. He hastened to set sail 
for the Bay of Islands, which is an excellent harbour in New Zealand, distant only 
twenty leagues from Hokianga, where I was residing. Before leaving Sydney M. 
Cecile wrote me a letter which he confided to safe hands to be given me immediately on 
my arrival at that port from New Zealand. In this letter the prudent and devoted 
commander advised me to lose no time in Sydney on my arrival, but to re-embark by the 
first boat bound for the Bay of Islands, where he would wait for me with his corvette, 
and he would take upon himself to see me landed and left in peace in New Zealand as a 
French subject and a Roman Catholic Bishop. He added that he was ready to employ 
his artillery and the weapons of his sailors to settle the question of liberty and justice 
which was being violated by the persecution of a prelate who was a French subject. 
Finally, that he had, in truth, no desire to impose a religion upon a country which did 
not wish for it, but he meant to make them understand the position of a French subject, 


and, if requisite, give them a lesson in civilization. Such was the substance of this 
noble commander s letter, as he himself explained it to me when T went to visit him at 
the Bay of Islands. 

When, he arrived in this port from Sydney he learnt that I was at Hokianga. He 
immediately wrote to me and sent his letter by express, inviting me to come and see him 
on board the Heroine, which he could not leave, in spite of the desire he had to come 
to me through the woods and rivers that separated us by two short days journey. 

On this invitation, then, I went to the Bay of Islands, where he had been waiting 
for me more than a week. I arrived at Kororareka, and stopped at a sort of inn, kept by 
a white man for the accommodation of travellers, and inhabited by savages. There I 
rested after my journey, took off my travel-stained clothes, and dressed myself to pay a 
visit to the commander, whose corvette lay at anchor near the shore. But first, I wrote 
to him announcing my arrival, and asking him wheji it would be convenient for him to 
receive me on board. His reply was a visit from himself, in full uniform. He came 
ashore in a boat full of interesting-looking marines. 

After having received him and entertained ourselves at the house we were in, M. 
Cecile invited me to go witli him on board the corvette, where he placed his table at my 
disposal during my stay in the Bay. After this first visit, when I was taking my leave 
of him, he invited me to make use of his boat to return on shore. The French flag, fixed 
at the stern, floated over my head, and as I neared the shore a salute of artillery was 
lired from the corvette in honour of my episcopal dignity. The whole country, far and 
wide, resounded with the firing of the cannon. It caused a great sensation amongst the 
people. The white people and the natives saw for the first time in this Bay a military 
salute, and it inspired them with sentiments of astonishment and respect both for the 
French military authorities who saluted with so much solemnity, and for the French 
Bishop who was thus honoured and who lived in their country. 

The day after my arrival from Hokianga, whilst I was in the company of the com 
mander in the saloon, a sailor of the crew asked to speak witli me. By permission of the 
captain he was brought in. Immediately I saw a man with a long beard enter, who 
respectfully begged me to administer to him his first communion. Up to that time he 
had had no opportunity. He was a marine about forty-eight years of age, who had been 
since boyhood in the service of the royal navy. He had only been baptized in the 
Catholic Church, and could neither read nor write. However he was passably acquainted 
with the truths of morality and religion. I promised, therefore, to satisfy his good 
desires and to prepare him myself with diligence in the six or eight days during which 
the corvette was still to remain on the coast. He went away quite contented, and told 
his comrades of the promise I had made him. M. Cecile exempted him from duty so 
that he might attend to the preparatory spiritual exercises. 

When the other sailors, who had not as yet made their first communion, learnt the 
pious wishes of their comrade, and the facility there was for fulfilling them, they made 
me the same request, and received the same answer and the same exemption from duty 
from their commander. Theie were about seventeen of them. Besides this, as at this 
period, paschal time was far from having elapsed in New Zealand. Several other sailors, 
who had already made their first communion, wished to fulfill their Easter duties, and 
accompany to the Holy-table those who were about to approach it for the first time. 
Altogether they amounted in number to about twenty -five. 

To the first I gave instructions twice a day, either on board the corvette or on shore. 
They procured a French catechism on board for me, and I marked in it the passages 
which were necessary for them to know well and to study, at least as far as their meaning 
was concerned. Some of them could read, and I set them to read aloud to the others the 
passages and reflections which I had marked, and on which I afterwards examined and 
instructed them. They passed nearly the whole day in carrying out with admirable 
diligence and docility all that I had set clown for them to do. They made also a kind 



of retreat, and came turn about to confess themselves at the hours I had appointed, and 
T soon saw myself, with consolation, fully occupied with the care of these sailors. 

Nevertheless, I had some houi s during the day to visit the chiefs and the native 
tribes who were in the neighbourhood of the vast Bay of Islands. M. Cecile had the 
goodness to place his own boat at my disposal, and I made use of it in all my missionary 
journeys, on which he took pleasure in accompanying me. Sunday was drawing near ; 
the preparations of the communicants were finished. On Saturday I proposel to the 
commander that he should allow me next day to celebrate Low Mass on the deck of the 
Herione, at which the sailors who had been prepared could partake of Holy 
Communion. He consented, and gave orders that the preparations for the ceremony of 
worship should be made by the men on board. From early morning on Sunday the deck 
was splendidly decorated with awnings and nags, and Captain Cecile himself might have 
been seen working with his own hands decorating the altar, which was erected against 
the vessel s poop. Since the day before, the white people and the natives had been told 
of the ceremonies that were to take place on board the Hf.rionp., and that on that day- 
she would be thrown, open to anyone who wished to come. 

Mass was celebrated at ten o clock, the commander with the officers of his staff 
assisting at it in full uniform. A company of Protestant ladies and gentlemen and some 
natives from Kororareka were present, and comfortable places found for them. The 
entire crew tilled the rest of the deck there were about three hundred people on board. 
After the Gospel I addressed a short discourse to this interesting assembly. All 
conducted themselves with religious t espect. At the Elevation a squad of gunners went 
through the exercise of kneeling, whilst the sound of the drum re-echoed along the shore 
and through the infant township, announcing to all that our Divine Saviour was 
immolating Himself under the shadow of the French flag for the salvation of the whole 
of New Zealand. At the Communion one could see coming out from the ranks of the 
military, the sailors whom I had prepared on the preceding days. They came to-day 
meditatingly, and without earthly thoughts, and kneeling, formed a large half-circle 
I ound the altar. Though they were bearded and in military costume, they already 
shared in the sweetness and modesty of that Lamb without stain, to whom 
they were about to unite themselves. All eyes were fixed on them ; 
they attracted looks of surprise, admiration, and respect. What a beautiful 
example these Christian sailors were setting so far from the?r own land ; their praise is 
that of their worthy commander. What a consoling spectacle to a Catholic Bishop just 
escaped from the persecutions of heresy ! To-day, in the face of all New Zealand, he 
confessed the most august of Sacraments, .and proclaimed to these marines the God of 
charity, clemency, and peace. Alas ! this God was not then known in this country ; but 
to-day He is the cause of happiness to numberless infidels and cannibals, converted to the 

Since the stay of the corvette lleroinr, at the Bay of Islands, the people have been 
unable to forget the worthy commander, his noble character, his discernment, his firm yet 
prudent conduct, his loyalty and his religion ; neither can they forget the edifying 
example set by his crew to New Zealand. After the visit of M. Cecile to this country, 
heresy stood greatly in the background, its wishes for evil had been intimidated, the 
Catholic minister was left free and respected, and the mission began to develop itself 
everywhere. There was in the future no other fighting than that of the Word against 
heresy and infidelity. 

Civilisation and religion are deeply indebted to Captain Cecile for the events which 
I have chronicled, and their happy results. Sometimes in society they attribute to 
motives of policy or interest the benefits which the powerful of the earth confer on the 
Church. But whether this be so or not, if selfish intentions are to be found in them, still 
God is judge of all. Their faults are their own, their good actions are the Church s, who 
is ever grateful, and repays them with her praises, her prayers, and her vows for 


After the departure of the protecting corvette, which had come to visit me, I busied 
myself seriously in establishing a place of central administration and a store at the Bay 
of Islands, which would give me the means of frequent and advantageous communication. 
The native chiefs had already expressed to me their desire to embrace the Catholic 
religion as soon as I should have established a missionary station in their country. 
After a short stay amongst them I left them in the hope that their desires and my own 
would be accomplished, and returned to Hokianga to continue there the work of this 
first station. 

In the month of June of this year the house of boards which I had ordered was 
completed at a place called Papakauwau. We now knew enough Maori to commence 
instructing the people. The day on which I took possession of this new house, situated 
in the centre of Hokianga, a religious ceremony was held, and also &jete amongst the 
Catholic white people and amongst the natives of three tribes who had come to the place 
where my new residence was. My approach was heralded by a salvo of musketry. Then 
entering the house, I celebrated Holy Mass in the principal room, which had been 
decorated with tapestry, and where the mission altar had been prepared on the previous 
day. After the Gospel I preached in Maori for the first time to the numerous natives, 
who had assembled both inside and outside the house. 

From that time forth instructions in the faith in Maori were regularly given on 
Sundays, and frequently on week days, to the natives who came to us. M. Servant was 
entrusted with the charge of the establishment and the instruction of the natives who 
came there. My principal occupation was visiting the tribes about Hokianga and its 
vicinity, giving them the first lessons in the faith, and calling them to the kingdom of 
God. Soon the Paternoster, the Ave Maria, and the Credo were translated into their 
language ; I also composed a canticle on the existence, perfections, and blessings 
bestowed by God. The singing of this canticle and the saying of short prayers I have 
mentioned were the sole religious exercises, morning and evening, of the people who came 
to church. It was not long before we saw a great eagerness amongst these people to be 
instructed and to become Christians. We were soon able to count approximately from 
tifteeii to eighteen hundred natives who used Catholic prayers in their tribes. Already, 
011 the great Feast of the Assumption, which I celebrated at my place of residence, we 
had the consolation of seeing the greatest chiefs of Hokianga assisting at the holy offices. 

Heresy seemed to shudder at the sight of this great number of people who for 
several years had resisted it, and who yet answered in crowds the voice of the Mother 
Church. So a last attempt was made by the Protestant ministers to rid the country of 
us. One day they gathered together all the chiefs among their disciples at their station, 
in order to hold a grand consultation, the result of which was to be our expulsion. To 
do this, they purposed using the authority of the principal chiefs of Hokianga, very few 
of whom were among their disciples. But their plans were frustrated by the greatest 
chiefs, who were Catholic catechumens, and who, on their side, also held a consultation 
and informed the Methodist party of their firm resolve to keep the Catholic Bishop at 
Hokianga, and, if necessary, to oppose with force the force of the aggressors. 

Really eloquent speeches were made in the council of the Catholic catechumens. 
They had prepared everything for war, should it be necessary. A general-in-chief had 
been elected from among their number. When all their deliberations were concluded, 
this general came to speak to me and addressed me in the following energetic manner : 
" Bishop, thou hast quitted thy country and thy relations to come and teach us. Well, 
fear nothing here in our midst. They shall not drive thee away. Remain here. 
Remain ! remain ! and know that before a blow can reach thee, we shall all be stretched 
dead around thy house." 

I replied that I was fully sensible of the expressions of their devotion, but trusted 
it would not be put to the proof. We shook hands and all was over. Nevertheless all the 
chiefs, with about three hundred of their men, remained during two days about our 
dwelling, awaiting the result of the Methodist council, holding themselves in readiness 


for a battle, should any hostile attempt be made against the Bishop. At last they learnt 
from sure sources that the Methodist council had been dissolved, and that they had con 
cluded not to make any attack, but to stay quietly at home. From that time all attempts 
at evil were abandoned and the country was at peace with the Catholic minister. 

All the calumnies of heresy, all its hostile menaces and the troubles which it had 
raised up, rebounded on its own head, paralysing its influence on the minds of the 
people, and spreading far and wide the knowledge of our holy cause, which defended 
itself by arguments that convinced their souls, so that soon people from beyond Hokianga 
sent us messages, asking for the teaching of the Catholic Church, which they called the 
"Mother Church," the "trunk of the true Church," the "living-tree Church." They 
would have nothing to do (they said) with the teachings of the Protestant sects, who 
differed from us, and whom they called the " cut-off branches Church." As a rule, all 
the people at Hokianga and beyond esteemed, respected, and liked us. Many of the 
natives, who before our arrival had followed the Protestants, now came to us to be 
instructed and baptized. 

At this time I had no printing materials for the mission, and we were overwhelmed 
with the work of writing out short abridgments of instruction on the faith, and the 
prayers for morning and evening, which we distributed amongst the tribes who were 
asking for them 011 all sides. Providence greatly helped these people in the work of 
their salvation. Many intelligent young people quickly learnt to read and write. In 
nearly every tribe was to be found some one who could read the little manuscripts of 
doctrine and prayers which they obtained from us. 

But heresy had great advantages over us. It was in constant communication with 
its branches in Europe. Temporal assistance was administered to it with regularity, 
activity, and certainty. As for us, we were destitute : our long voyages by sea and the 
works we had begun in Oceania had absorbed all our funds. After a residence here of 
six months we found ourselves in the greatest want. No communication had been 
thoroughly established with Europe ; and the society for assisting missions had shown 
110 sign of life. 

Heresy had two printing presses at its command, one at Hokianga and the other at 
the Bay of Islands. They scattered broadcast over the country pamphlets, tracts, and 
little books, which, while teaching the first truths of salvation, were filled with all sorts 
of objections and calumnies against the minister and the faith of the Catholic Church. 
After the Methodist consultation which had been held at Hokianga to drive us from the 
country, the Protestant press issued a pamphlet of four pages, entitled, " The Anti 
christ " (ko te aiiatikaraiti), in which they endeavoured to prove to the people that the 
Catholic Church with its Pontiff at Rome and its Bishop in New Zealand was Anti 
christ, and that our teachings were full of errors and very injurious to the country. 
But the New Zealanders did not pay much attention to this pamphlet, although a great 
number of copies were distributed amongst them. So it happened not unfrequently that 
they, without the slightest evil intention, saluted me by the name of Anti-christ ; but 
when I told them that my true name was " Episcopo, and that that which the 
missionaries wished to give me was quite unknown to me, they at once refrained from 
using the name, of whose evil meaning they were ignorant. Alas ! to combat the efforts 
of heresy and its thousands of prints against us, we had only our voices and our pens. 
The weapons were far from equal. But we knew that the grace of the Lord accompanied 
the lawfulness of our ministrations. So in a three or four days Adsit I paid to the tiibes 
of Hokianga, where the Anti-christ pamphlet had been circulated, I refuted it by word 
of mouth, and its influence was paralysed. Heresy had a very great advantage over us. 
It could actively multiply its teachers of error ; it could soon make missionaries. They 
were frequently taken from the workshop, from the agricultural classes, and from the sea 
faring people. A Bible was put in their hands, they were paid a good salary, allowed to 
meddle in secular matters, and provided they sold books and pamphlets to the people and 
spread calumnies against the Mother Church, no other apostleship was required of them. 

Besides this, Protestantism in Oceania possessed among its various sects two or 


three vessels which were always at its disposal to carry hither and thither 
its swarm of missionaries and its bales of pamphlets. Wherever heresy directed its steps 
or established a missionary station, it rendered its ministers perfectly independent of the 
natives, furnished them abundantly with everything necessary for their existence and for 
holding a distinguished position. They therefore cost the people nothing, and established 
with them commercial relations. So that it was not a spirit of charity that filled their 
disciples, but rather a spirit of commerce. 

For us who were destitute of all assistance after the first six months of our stay at 
Hokianga, it would have been imprudent to have solicited any help from the people or 
from our own catechumens. The independent style which heresy had followed opposed 
it and indirectly prevented the exercise of charity towards us. 

Neither had I a vessel at my disposal to go and visit the missionary stations estab 
lished at Wallis and Futuna. Merchant vessels going to these places were few and far 
between. Neither could I increase, with the same quickness as heresy, Catholic 
missionaries whom I might distribute over the different parts of my jui isdiction. How 
ever, after a stay of six months in Oceania, I was expecting the fresh priests and 
catechists who had been promised me. My correspondence gave me also reason to hope 
that funds in sufficient quantity would be sent to enable me to maintain these new 
people as well as my old ones, and to procure for my Apostolic Vicariate a schooner to 
do my missionary work, and thus put me on more equal terms with the boats belonging 
to heresy, of which three or four were always at their disposal, to traverse the seas in all 
directions, and to carry them to all the islands. 

When I founded the stations of Wallis and Futuna, I expected at the end of six 
months a fresh consignment of people and funds, which would place me in a position to 
visit and strengthen these two stations. Besides, I had learnt at Tahiti, from several 
masters of vessels, that in New Zealand I should have opportunities of finding ships by 
which I might pay missionary visits to the islands in the tropical zone. But, alas ! I was 
disappointed in both these respects. All my funds had been exhausted in my travels in 
the founding of the mission. Instead of receiving fresh people and funds at the end of 
six months, it was not until I had been seventeen months in New Zealand that I received 
them. What pain at heart I suffered during that time through my inability to visit and 
help the stations at Wallis and Futuna, and extend my labours more and more over New 
Zealand, where heresy, profiting by the state of paralysis in which my administration 
was placed, was making ravages at all points of the island. Even at that time, if the 
chance of obtaining a vessel had presented itself, I lacked the means to pay for my 
passage. But, as I said before, the opportunities were very rare ; and even though they 
had been frequent, it would have been impossible for me to have embraced them. At 
this period, and for several years afterwards, it was an essential condition of success that 
the Apostolic Vicariate should possess a vessel to prosecute the work of salvation among 
the people of these lands. For one must always shape the means towards the end to be 
obtained, and circumstances imperiously demanded that the Vicar-Apostolic should be 
provided with a missionary schooner. 

But God ordained that I should pursue my work without this aid. I was forced to 
remain at Hokianga, where I was partly consoled by the great number of people who 
entered the catechumenate of the Church, and some fifty neophytes who had been 
baptized. On the other hand, I was greatly grieved at my state of captivity in this 
country, at the poverty I was in, at my inability to pay desirable visits, and at the wants 
of the people, which I was unable to supply. I kept them always in hope that new 
priests would come to teach them. They relied on my promises, and every time a vessel 
came to the port of Hokianga a crowd of natives might be seen on the banks of the river 
whither they had run in the hopes of at length receiving the ministers of salvation whose 
coming their Bishop had promised. Then, when the people found that the expected 
priests were not on board, they returned to their tribes with a sadness proportionate to 
the joy and haste with which they had come. Afterwards they came to where I lived to 
tell me of their surprise, and of the trouble the non-fulfilment of my promises caused 


them. They could easily see, looking at the extent of country over which their settle 
ments extended, that it was an impossibility for me, with a single priest, to instruct them 
fully and quickly as they desired. Sometimes they said to me, " Bishop, thou art 
fatiguing thyself much, thou wilt not live long, and if thou diest, who will look after our 
instruction ?" I answered, though the bishop might die, the bishopric would not, but 
that so soon as I should die, the Pope would nominate some one to replace me. Then I 
exhorted them to have confidence in God, who, having called them to the kingdom of 
heaven, or to His true Church, would never forsake them. Alas ! in the deserted position 
I was in, I was forced to limit all my labours to the teaching of the people of Hokianga. 


The New Zealanders Their Manners, Customs, and Traditions Their Clothing and Dwellings- 
Maori Customs Civil Authority Their Marriages and Social Affections Their Vices 

and Faults Their Character, Moral Qualities, and Intellectual Capacity Maori Industry 

Maori Canoes and Fortifications Anns of Warfare Principal Maori Traditions Maori 

Tradition of the Creation Striking Resemblance to the Mosaic Account. 

AM now about to give an idea of this part of the country, and of the whole of 
New Zealand. As to the produce of the soil, it must be divided into two parts, 
that which is native to the country, and that which has been imported by the 
white people. Before the natives had communications with the outer world, they had 
no other fruit-bearing tree than the karaka, a tree which bears small apples of a clear 
red colour. The shell is very large ; it contains a kernel about the size of an olive. 
The kumara, which is a species of sweet potato, and another sort of potato they call 
" uwhi " in short, fern-root, witli fish and shell-fish, was their ordinary diet. It is also 
certain that they ate rats and dogs, and in time of war the conquerors devoured the con 
quered. There probably exists no other race who have carried cannibalism to sucli a ferocious 
extent. It was not uncommon after their tights to see the limbs of several hundreds of 
people suspended 011 the fences of the victors, presenting the sight of a butcher s shop of 
human flesh 011 a large scale. When New Zealand became known to and visited by 
white people, its fertile soil was speedily enriched with European produce and animals 
the produce of seeds and stock brought to them by the sailors. When we arrived at 
Hokianga they had a number of pigs, some horses, oxen, fowls, ducks, geese, and goats. 
They had also melons, cabbages, and all sorts of potatoes. Maize was cultivated in so 
large a quantity that at certain places the natives freighted merchant vessels with it. 
There was also a little wheat and a few vines. The taro was likewise successfully 
cultivated by the Maoris. They were beginning to become the farmers of their archipelago. 
They lived upon the fruits of their agriculture, their fishing and hunting, and bartered 
the produce of their soil with the whites for clothing, farm implements, tobacco, and 
powder, and guns. They sold also large pieces of land to procure themselves horses, 
boats, and sometimes small schooners, with which to navigate the coasts. 

These people, before they became acquainted with the white, wore clothes made of 
a species of flax, called in their language "korari," which grows in great abundance in 
their country. They are draped only from the waste to the knee : they often wear a sort 


of mantle which reaches from the shoulders to the feet. Their clothing is very coarsely 
woven by hand by the women and girls, and they go about barelegged and barefooted. 
Their dwellings are made of branches of trees, shrubs, and twigs. They have but one 
opening, which is very low, and through this comes the daylight that illumines the dark 
interior of their houses. They light their fire in the middle of the hut and the smoke 
escapes by the. door. They sleep on the ground on mats or on fern. In all their houses 
one generally sees their war weapons (their " mere," a large green-stone, sharpened), their 
axes, their guns, their cartridge-boxes, and sometimes trunks and cases which they have 
purchased from Europeans, and in which they keep their clothing and such objects as they 
most value. 

These people are in the habit of tattooing themselves. The common people are 
tattooed on the face ; the chiefs, moreover, tattoo their legs from the calf to the hips. The 
women are only tattooed around the lips, on the chin, and sometimes on the forehead. 

Authority amongst them is that of a family and patriarchal type. Each tribe has 
its own chief, entirely independent of the neighbouring tribes, and each family in times of 
peace enjoys the greatest freedom under the chief of its own tribe. A native chief, 
sovereign over the whole of New Zealand, lias never been heard of. Nevertheless, thei-e 
are among them chiefs of such dignity, on account of their birth, that they exercise great 
influence over all the rest. It is birth alone that creates a chief among the people. 
They never have elections or constitutions to strengthen their power, and yet the govern 
ment is very popular. The chiefs are accessible to all, and the people are so fond of and 
devoted to their chief that they would tight to the death rather than abandon him, even 
though he were in fault. 

It is doubtful whether in their natural state the Maoris had valid marriages. 
Usually all the chiefs are polygamists, some having as many as ten wives. It is he who 
ranks highest by nobility of birth that takes precedence. Adultery among them is 
severe ly punished. They kill the two guilty ones, if they are not chiefs of high rank ; 
in the latter case war is declared by the outraged party against the offender. As to the 
children, they live in their families and tribe enjoying the greatest freedom. These people 
have a great affection for one another. Ties of blood, reciprocal benefits and alliances, knit 
this affection. But there are very few strangers to whom they show the same regard. It 
is only right to say also that there are very few strangers who give them any reason to be 
grateful or affectionate. The savages quickly learnt whether they were loved or not, or 
whether people came to do them good or merely for their own special benefit. So that 
as soon as the Maoris understood that the Bishop and the Catholic missionaries only 
came to do them good, and that they had given up everything for that purpose, they 
showed them much attachment and devotion under very many most trying circumstances. 

Cupidity, pride, and anger may be considered as their dominant vices. Unchastity 
obtains amongst the young people who are free, but one never hears of the commission of 
unnatural offences ; they do not care for cleanliness and order, and are inclined to 
laziness. Cannibalism is the rule in war time. They are very cunning in carrying out- 
plans of vengeance, and know the uses of duplicity and surprises in gaining their end. 

Their character is good and manly, they are frank and open and intelligent enough 
to understand what is naturally right when one is able to explain to them in their own 
language. They easily learn to read and write without the necessity of constant 
teaching. It is only necessary to give them a few leaflets of easy reading, and to write 
some characters on bits of slate to enable them to read and write their own language 
within three months. Temperance and sobriety are strictly observed by them. One 
seldom sees a drunken native ; they drink only water. The pigs which they fatten are 
kept to sell to the Europeans, who give them, in exchange, European clothing, and 
especially blankets. 

They love truth, justice, and frankness, and in their native state were extremely 
hospitable. They display great bravery in their battles. Before going to war, an event 


which they do not seem to dread, they prudently despatch messengers to hold consultation 
at a grand meeting of the chiefs to discuss the question. 

These people are more inclined to work than the savages of the tropical islands. 
They are more manly in character, less fickle, and of a hardier constitution. They bear 
the fatigues of a march, the inclemency of the seasons, and the toil of labour with greater 
ease than the South Sea Islanders. 

The women and girls are employed in making clothes and cooking, being helped by 
slaves. They may be seen also assisting at the cultivation of the potato, the kumara, 
and maize. When journeying by water, they row with their paddles the same as the 
men. In time of war they follow the men to the tield of battle, where they prepare food 
for the combatants, cast bullets and make cartridges. They lend their relatives military 
assistance on the battlefield by carrying thither ammunition, and sometimes even joining 
them in the fight against the enemy. 

The men and the young people make canoes from great trunks of trees, which they 
hollow out in the shape of long boats. They build the huts for the tribe, which are 
sufficiently close enough to one another to form a sort of village. They surround these 
collections of huts witli fortifications, which they place in a line and very close to each 
other, and which are constructed with trunks of trees and branches. These enclosures 
are sometimes from fifteen to twenty feet in height. All around inside they dig ditches 
from which the assailed can repel their assailants without exposing themselves to their 

The men make also all their weapons for war, which consist of a club, a "mere," a 
lance, and a tomahawk made of wood or of hard stone. As to powder, guns and lead, 
and all kinds of sharp steel instruments, they get them by means of barter from the white 
people. Nearly all the tribes had been armed with guns for about two years before the 
date of my arrival in New Zealand. The men also do the most towards cultivating the 
land with spades, which they purchase from the whites, or, failing a spade, by means of 
implements made of hard wood, which supply its place. The men likewise do the fishing, 
but the women mostly gather the shell-fish ; and, finally, the men carve grotesque and 
indecent wooden figures, which they affix to their canoes, the doors of their houses, to the 
burial-places of their ancestors, and the fortification of their villages. They make also 
innumerable ornaments carved out of the precious stone, called " pounamon," which they 
use as earrings, or hang around their necks. Since the whites have been established in 
their country, who use the timber for building purposes, and have sawmills, one may see 
the natives engaged in this work for the small wage which is offered them. 

Before having intercourse with the whites the Maoris could neither read nor write. 
They possess no written monument of the history of their country, no grammar or 
dictionary to give an idea of their language. Oral tradition has been the sole vehicle 
for the transmission of their habits, custom, religion, superstition and language, and yet, 
strange to say, their principal traditions are identical over the whole island. There is, 
moreover, no country, however civilised it may be, whose language undergoes fewer 
modifications than that of the Maori. A foreigner who learns the language among any 
one of the native tribes will be understood by all the other tribes. It is in these countries 
that one learns by experience how powerful oral tradition is in transmitting unchanged 
the idea.s of the people from generation to generation. 

The following are their principal traditions before their intercourse with the 
whites : 1. The whole world was limited to New Zealand and one other island which 
they called " Awaihi," and whose whereabouts they did not know. According to some 
of their learned men, it was from this island that men of divine origin came to people 
the earth. 2. The ancestor whom they most venerate is called Maui. To him, indeed, 
they attribute the creation of New Zealand. According to their superstition, one day, 
while Maui was fishing in these seas, he drew up from the deep a large and enormous 
fish, which, on arriving at the surface, turned into fertile land and formed the great 
archipelago which they inhabit. 3. Maui had a wife called Kina, who bore him two 


sons ; the elder slew the younger, and by this fratricide incurred the just anger of his 
father, who banished him from his dwelling ; he became a wanderer over the whole 
archipelago and was the father of several tribes. 4. It is related also that the ancestors 
of Maui had no wives, and that death did not exist in the world. It was not until the 
first woman was created that men began to die. Who cannot see in this a striking 
resemblance between the Maori traditions and some of the principal facts mentioned in 
Genesis regarding the commencement of the world ? Do not Maui and Kina stand for 
Adam and Eve ? The elder son of Maui who slew his brother, does he not represent 
Cain who slew Abel 1 The eldest son of Maui who was banished by his father, does it 
not recall to us the banishment of Cain? Lastly, death, which entered the world after 
the creation of the first woman, does it not indicate the forbidden fruit eaten by Eve and 
by Adam, that is to say, original sin, which was the source of all evil, and the punishment 
of which has been the death of all mankind .< Now, from these traditions may we not 
conclude that in ancient times the ancestors of the Maoris were not totally ignorant of 
the divine traditions mentioned in Genesis 1 

C H A PT E R X. 

The Work of Converting the Maori Tribes Questions in Ethics and how they were met 
Obvious Change in the Maoris after Conversion Voyage from Hokianga to Kaipara 
Arrival and Stay at Mangakaia Departure from Hokianga General Movement to embrace 
the Catholic Faith Protestant Opposition Position of the Protestant Ministers in Oceania 
Maori Refutation of Calumnies Result of the Spiritual Struggle. 

HAT we have just said about the principal traditions of New Zealand will give 
a slight insight into their religious ideas. Let us, however, give the details of 
their worship, their beliefs, and their religion. These people were by no means 
idolaters, for thgy had made for themselves no idol, neither had they any temple, properly 
so called, where they might display representations of the gods whom they acknowledged. 
They limited themselves to a belief in the existence of superior spirits, good or evil, and 
the transmigration of the souls of their forefathers. They believed in a hell, a place of 
darkness which they called Keinga, and in a paradise, a place of joy and light, which they 
called Aotea. 

The ideas of the Maoris on the divinity, as the first principle, were confused, as were 
also their ideas as to proprietorship in the soil and the sovereignty of their country. 
When they sold lands they did not think that they parted with them for ever. 
According to them also, the dignity and authority of a chief were inadmissible in his 
legitimate posterity. 

They were not more enlightened on the Divinity. They had no clear idea of its 
unitv, its spiritual simplicity, and its eternity. Maui was the god they knew best. They 
gave liim a father, a grandfather, and several series of ancestors, all of whom were 
endowed with intelligence united to a material body and not always human. In the 
familiar conversations I held with these people, when visiting them, it was easy for me to 
point out their ignorance to them. Not unfrequently they saw it in an instant by the 
questions I asked them, which forced them to look for a first principle. If I asked them 


to give me the genealogy of their god, they became lost in their ideas and their answers. 
As they quoted the names in succession of these ancestors, I wrote them down before 
their eyes with a pencil on a bit of paper, and sometimes they would repeat names which 
were already written down, assigning as a father to an ancient god some one whom they 
had already classed as being one of his offspring and divine posterity. When. I pointed 
out to them the incoherence, the contradictions, and viciousness of their religious theories, 
the people who were listening began to laugh at their wise men and priests, who were 
arguing with me in public. Then, quite humiliated, eacli one confessed his ignorance. 
They listened to the principles of faith as to the one only and eternal God, living of Him 
self, and the cause of all beings. Their reason began to smile in the light, and grace 
commenced to stir their souls, and they promised with docility to follow the teaching of 
the Mother Church which I had presented to them. 

I happened sometimes to rind natives who, for savages, were well instructed, who 
answered my questions without contradicting themselves, and we succeeded in tracing 
the genealogical nomenclature of their divine spirits to a tinal god, who, according to 
them, came of the night, was never created himself, and had created all the others. 
They nevertheless did not attribute an eternity of existence to the night out of which he 
came. They only maintained that lie had no father and lived by himself in the darkness 
of night, that is to say, in a mystery which they were unable to penetrate, where either 
their science failed them, or their ignorance made itself felt by themselves. But they 
listened with interest and docility to the teachings of reason and faith on the unity, 
simplicity and eternity of God ; on the creation of the world, of the iirst man and 
woman ; on their sin, the cause of all our ills ; on the murder of Abel by Cain ; on the 
redemption of mankind by the Son of God made man. The crowd of natives, remarking 
the similarity of these truths to their own traditions, exclaimed : " Oh ! our forefathers, 
from whom we are descended, certainly knew these things, but we, their unhappy and 
ignorant posterity, ,have forgotten and altered them. Thou art sent, Bishop," they added, 
" to dissipate the darkness of our understanding, and to replace us on the path from 
which we have strayed." Then these people begged me to no longer converse and argue 
with them, but to preach to them and catechise them. 

When once, by God s help, they had learned reason and grace, the idea of the great 
.Spirit, or true God living of Himself from all eternity, creator of the world and 
everything in it, the origin of life in man and of everything good in body and soul, the 
enemy of everything evil and requiter of all good in heaven, the all-seeing witness of 
the actions and thoughts of all mankind then a great change took place in their minds 
and moral character, they looked upon themselves as the ignorant children of a gieat 
and good Father ; from this rose in their hearts a love for that Father whom they had 
disregarded, and who called them to His kingdom, and for the minister whom He had 
deputed to lead them thither by instructing them in the faith. And what confidence 
and what docility these people showed me ! Frequently, in less than three days, they 
had learned the necessary truths, the legitimacy and unity of the Catholic Church, its 
sacred hierarchy in the sovereign pontificate and bishops, and in the priests under the 
authority and guidance of these spiritual chiefs of the Christian people. They knew 
perfectly how to make the sign of the cross, and recited, morning and evening, in their 
own language, the Credo, the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, and a canticle on the 
existence and perfections of God. How consoling it was to see these multitudes of 
infidels following with docility and success the teachings of the true Church, and thus 
preparing themselves to be incorporated with it by hereafter receiving holy baptism. 

As a rule, these people at once showed great haste to learn the truths of religion 
and to conform their conduct to its practices in worship and morality. From the very 
first days of their conversion they pressed me to examine into all their usages and 
customs, they asked me all sorts of questions about which actions were to be considered 
sinful; and which they might ] ook upon as being good, in a word, they wished to know 
at once what was good and what was evil ; the vices to be avoided and the virtues to be 
practised ; above all, their questioning related as to the manner of sanctifying Sunday 


and on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of war. They asked me, also, if they were 
permitted arms and guns, if it was very wrong to kill and steal, to have several wives, 
to eat their enemies after a battle, to tattoo themselves, to execute the war dance and 
other dances, which, from their nature, are often very indecent, a thing to which they 
do not pay much attention. Lastly, they asked me if it was allowable to punish 
adulterers with death, and if it was very wrong for the young people to live in a state of 
licentious freedom with the girls. 

Now, to all those questions, which touched on the first principles of natural law, I 
gave direct answers, and always quickly obtained their docile adhesion. As to the other 
points, which had but very distant connection with natural laws, such as tattooing, dancing, 
and certain practices of their country, several of which were superstitiously observed by 
them, I gave them only evasive answers, telling them that on these points 1 would study 
well their manners and customs, and then when I knew them I would let them know which 
were good and which were bad. I concluded by exhorting them to occupy themselves 
first of all in studying the great truths of the true God, telling them that it was in 
this way they must commence ; for faith in the true God and in the truths which He 
wishes us to believe was the first grace to be acquired ; that when they had been 
instructed they would themselves soon see what was good and what evil, and what would 
be displeasing to God by diminishing or extinguishing in us the respect and love we owe 
Him. The result of all these first conversations was that no manual labour not 
necessary for life should be done on the holy day, Sunday ; that they should pray 
morning and evening, love God with their whole hearts, and their neighbour as them 
selves ; respect and love their parents and chiefs ; avoid theft, murder, anger, quarrels, 
unjust wars, adultery, fornication, lying, and cannibalism. As to the sin of drunkenness, 
the gravity of which I showed them, they had no inclination towards it, they did not 
care for the spirituous drinks of the whites, and despised those who committed excesses 
and fuddled themselves with drink. All these first lessons in morality appeared very 
just and very reasonable to them, even though in some instances they were opposed to 
the inclinations of their nature. 

It happened sometimes that the old men and fathers of families, after being in 
structed on the morals and dogmas of Christianity, spoke to me thus : " Bishop, the 
doctrine that tliou teachest is very good, but it enters our ears without entering our 
hearts ; above all, without dwelling in our memories. We forget all thou hast said to 
us ; our hearts remain hard as stone, and as black as the darkness. The reason is, 
seest thou, that we have done much wrong during our lives, and without doubt we are 
not worthy to receive the light and the good that thou bringest us ; but our wives and 
children understand better than we, for they have not committed the crimes of which 
we have been guilty. Thou canst instruct and baptize them when thou wilt." 

I rejoiced at the humble avowal they made and the hopes for their salvation which 
it gave me, for evil, recognised and felt by the souls which have suffered from its attack, 
is already half cured ; so I exhorted these old men and fathers to have greater confidence 
in the mercy of God, who could pardon sins, however numerous and grave. 

" But," insisted these natives, " can God pardon all our sins of impurity, and, above 
all, all the murders we have committed in our time, and all the feasts of human flesh we 
have partaken of ? " 

" Yes," I answered them ; " He seeks not the death of wicked men, but their con 
version, and nothing pleases Him more than the return of the greatest sinner. A land 
covered with briars and thorns and full of pebbles and rocks, which, through assiduous 
labour, finishes by producing abundant harvests, rejoices the heart of him who owns it, 
and of the labourers who till it." 

Then I saw joy illumine the countenances, erstwhile despairing, of my hearers, and 
they took their places amongst the crowd of their children and slaves to listen with 
simplicity to the lessons of the faith. 

I was frequently struck with the promptitude with which these people learned the 


necessary truths of salvation, the sign of the cross, the Credo, the Pater Noster, and the 
Ave Maria. I admired their affection for God, the Father and Benefactor of all mankind, 
and for Mary, the Virgin Mother of our Saviour. I have often witnessed, with ineffable 
consolation, the changes that were taking place in their faces and their looks. Before 
having been instructed in the faith, their air was fierce, their looks haughty, defiant and 
wicked. After having received docilely the teachings of salvation, they had quite a 
fferent appearance ; their looks were modest and good, their faces expressed affection 
and cordiality. After having passed five or six days with this tribe, with whom many 
members of neighbouring and allied tribes frequently joined, I was compelled to go and 
carry the same benefits to the neighbouring people. At the moment of my departure, 
those whom I was leaving accompanied me a long distance, and when the farewells were 
said, the principal chiefs, in the name of the affected people, made the most affectionate 
and touching speeches, causing their tears to flow and moving me profoundly. At length 
I tore myself from their midst to continue niy journey. They remained standing on the 
spot where I had left them, and continued to call out their farewells until I was 
lost to their sight. Amongst the many discourses which were addressed to me in times 
of departure and bidding farewell I will quote one further on, after I have related several 
circumstances which preceded it and which it is fit should be told. 

In October, 1838, that is to say about eight months after my arrival in New 
Zealand, I went from Hokianga to the Kaipara River, more especially to the tribe of 
Mangakaia, from whom the sons of the principal chiefs, in the name of their parents, 
had come to visit me several times at Hokianga to beg me to come and see them and 
hold conversations on religion with them, that they might definitely determine which 
Church they should embrace that is to say, touching the choice they had to make 
between the Protestant religion and the true faith of the Mother Church. At this 
period I had but one priest with me, whose charge was to look after the mission at my 
residence, to teach the natives who came on Sundays and frequently on week days, to 
say the Catholic prayers there, and to superintend the teaching of the elements of the 
faith. As to myself, my principal occupation was travelling among the native tribes, 
visiting the chiefs and holding conversation with them and their people ; calling them to 
the kingdom of God and teaching them the necessary truths, the Credo, the Pater Noster 
and the Ave Maria. 

As^the greater part of the population of Hokianga belonged to the catechumenate 
of the Catholic faith, I and the priest who assisted me were overwhelmed with work. I 
could not, in consequence, quickly answer the invitation which the chiefs of Kaipara 
district, twenty-five leagues from Hokianga, had sent me. Several of their sons, together 
with three white people, accompanied me on the voyage I made to the Kaipara River. 
We were two days on the road, crossing through forests and rivers. I went direct to the 
tribe of Mangakaia, where the principal chief on this long river lived, and where the 
population amounted to four or five hundred natives. The station of the Methodist 
missionary was there. He was a married man and had several children ; for three years 
he had been trying to convert these people to his sect, but with no other success than 
that of having established a trade with them, selling them spades and other agricultural 
implements, clothing and tobacco, and remedies for their sicknesses, which they greatly 
appreciated. As to his doctrine, they would have nothing to do with it ; they "looked 
upon him as a trader who carried on his business, and not as a pastor who had given up 
everything for their sake. The New Zealanders express very strongly a very true 
thought they have about Protestant missionaries ; they say that they have come for their 
own benefit and for that of their wives and children, and to purchase land ; but that the 
Catholic missionaries have come for the benefit of the Maoris, and not for themselves. 
In their way of speaking they use often this short expression : The Protestant ministers, 
they say, come for themselves, the Catholic ministers for us. But now and again the 
natives explain their ideas in full by giving the details we have mentioned. 

When I arrived at Mangakaia, several of the pi-incipal chiefs gathered to meet me 
with a large number of their people. I lodged in a wooden house which was situated on 


the bank of the long river I had ascended to reach them. This house was occupied by 
an Irishman, a sawyer, who had contracted a sort of marriage with a daughter of one of 
the chiefs, by whom he had several children. The sons of the chiefs who had come to 
Hokianga to seek me, had brought me to this house as being the best in their tribe. I 
remained four or live days in this country, and from morning till night, unceasingly, 
familiar conversation took place between these people and myself. On the third day 
they determined to enter the Catholic Church, which they had just learned to know as 
the Mother Church and the only true one ; they called it the living tree, and the 
Protestant sects they called the cut-oft brandies. I then commenced to catechise them 
and teach them the Catholic prayers ; I celebrated Holy Mass before them, which they 
had learned to look upon, since their instruction in the faith, as the great prayer which 
would call down the good gifts of the true God on the people. I hastened to baptixe the 
three little children of the Irishman, his wife and sister-in-law, whom I had diligently 
instructed in a special manner to enable me to confer Holy Baptism on them, and lastly 
I gave the nuptial blessing to the husband and wife who had been living together 
without having received it. 

The ardour of these people during the last two days to be instructed in the Catholic 
faith was really consoling and touching. They overwhelmed me with questions, and 
listened patiently and with conviction to my replies. Several amongst them could read 
and write, and they sent me short letters, written on slates or on flax leaves, about the 
Church, the articles of faith, and God, and expressing the most lively sentiments of their 
affection and attachment. They besought of me to make a long stay among them, in 
order, said they, to disperse the darkness, purify them from their sins, and to leave them 
light and goodness. The chiefs told me by word of mouth that if I could not prolong 
my stay I must soon come back to see them a hope I willingly gave them, but more 
especially I gave them to understand that I would send them a priest from amongst those 
I was expecting from Europe, in order to thoroughly instruct them in all things. All 
these people were satisfied with my short stay with them and with the hopes I left them, 
with the knowledge of the true God, Creator of the world, of Jesus Christ, Saviour of 
mankind, of Mary, the virgin mother of that Saviour, and the Queen of heaven and 
of earth, of the true Church of God in this world, and of the morning and evening 

On the day of my departure, several of the chiefs, with some twenty of the people, 
wished to accompany me a distance of twelve leagues from their tribe. We had a long 
river to go down, and we all left in canoes. When we reached the place where I had to 
leave the river in order to continue my journey by land, all the natives landed on the 
bank, where I thought I should only have to return them my thanks and bid them a 
speedy farewell. But one of the principal chiefs, when I offered him my hand as a sign 
of goodwill, held it pressed between the two of his, in saying his adieu. He appeared 
affected and his eyes were moist with tears. Then, looking at me fixedly, he made the 
following speech : 

" Epicopo (Bishop), I salute thee. Farewell ! thou art going and we remain. 
JJost thou love us as we love thee ? " 

" It is unlikely, I immediately answered, " that you should love me as much as I 
love you, for you are aware that I left my dear relatives, my sweet fatherland, and 
undertook long and most perilous voyages in order to see and visit and instruct you." 

At these words, the chief, who spoke for all the people, wept, the tears rolling down 
his cheeks, and whilst gaining his self-possession he could scarcely articulate his words. 
His hands, which \vere pressing mine, were burning, and he continued thus: "Yes, 
Bishop, we know that thou lovest us, but dost thou love us as much as we love thee 1 
Remember Mangakaia ! Forget us not ; return soon to see us. Alas ! if thou puttest 
it off too long, we may fall back into the night in which thou found us. We shall have 
forgotten Jesus Christ and His true Church, which thou hast made known to us. Oh ! 
forget not Mangakaia, I implore of thee. Love us as we love thee. Go, Bishop, go 


amongst our friendly tribes and carry to them the same light thou hast caused to shine 
on us ! Ah ! make us to have but one only church, heart and love ! But, Bishop, canst 
thou forget Mangakaia, which loves thee, and which thou didst first visit ? Love us, 
then, as we love thee. Return to cause good to increase amongst us. We rely on thy 
returning to Mangakaia. Mayst thou settle there for good ; but if thou canst not 
stay there we rely on thy word. Thou wilt send us a priest from among thy friends, 
who will increase the light thou hast left us. Here ends my speech ; I can say no more 
to thee. Go, Bishop, go ! Return soon. Farewell ! farewell ! farewell ! " In saying 
these last words, he shook me by the hand several times. 

During his speech, the greatest silence prevailed amongst tho crowd. All seemed 
moved and affected. Scarcely had the chief said his last farewell than all the 
men, women, young people, girls and children, surrounded me. Each one wished to 
shake hands with me and bid me farewell. It was indeed a touching scene. At last I 
tore myself away from these dear people and went my way with my followers ; but they 
remained standing and unceasingly repeated their farewells by voice and by gesture, 
their voices growing fainter as I went along further and further. I replied in the same 
way to their salutations, and this affectionate ceremony lasted till they lost sight of me. 
Then I fell on my knees and said the prayers for acts of grace to the Lord, for the good 
disposition of the people of Mangakaia ; and I placed them under the protection of Mary, 
saying the Sub tuum, etc. Then I continued my journey to Hokianga. 

Now occurrences like these, so beneficial for religion, which happened among the 
people of Mangakaia, took place under almost similar circumstances among all the other 
tribes of New Zealand, when I had the opportunity of visiting them, and for the first 
time calling them to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

After two years of travelling and labouring there was a general movement among 
the Maoris to embrace the Catholic faith. On all sides they were asking for books and 
for priests to instruct them. Heresy took alarm at their disposition ; she displayed 
extraordinary activity in her opposition ; she spared neither calumny, nor lying, nor 
deception to stop the movement of the people, and at least to keep them in an unsettled 
state of mind. Now she told them that I had neither books nor priests to give them, 
and that in refusing their ministers, who were around them on all sides, they would 
remain in a false view of Christianity, and would fall back into a darkness worse than 
that from which they had just emerged. She spoke to them of the Catholic Church as 
being worn out as the trunk of a tree which had rotted away and died. She called the 
Catholic Bishop an Antichrist who represented the chief of all Antichrists, who was at 
Rome. Then she gave them to understand that the Catholic missionaries had come to 
New Zealand to make them worship wooden gods ; to seize upon the sovereignty, and 
possess themselves of their lands, and to burn them all at the stake. Sometimes false 
reports were circulated that the native Catholic neophytes were going to be attacked by 
Protestant and heathen tribes more numerous and powerful than themselves, and in 
embracing Catholicism they embraced extermination. They never ceased telling them 
that the French nation, to which the Catholic Bishop and his missionaries belonged, was 
a tribe of robbers and murderers, that she was poor and powerless, and that they must 
not look for any protection from her. It even happened once that, being on a pastoral 
visit in the south of New Zealand, the Protestant missionaries in the northern part of 
the island toM the tribes who were hesitating in their choice between the Catholics and 
Protestants, that the Catholic Bishop had at length recognised the truth, and had become 
a Protestant. These simple people, believing the news given them to be true, replied to 
their deceivers that, since the Bishop had become a Protestant, they could not do better 
than imitate him ; and indeed several of them caused themselves to be baptized by the 
ministers who had deceived them. 

When I returned from my pastoral visit to the south, I quickly learned the decep 
tion that had been practised, and I hastened to visit the tribes that had been deceived. 
These people were quite astonished at the lies that had been told about me. Although 
they were very indignant with the missionaries who had deceived them they still 


continued to use the Protestant prayers. Alas ! I could only adore the designs of God 
who permitted that several of these people should continue to lend an attentive ear to 
the discourses of those Protestant missionaries whose falseness they had had so many 
opportunities of recognising. 

But the greater number of New Zealanders were not to be taken in ; they recognised 
the bad faith and ignorance of the ministers of error ; they understood that it was 
impossible that the Lord should make choice of lying lips to announce His holy Word to 
the people. So they were indignant at the calumnies that were circulated against the 
Catholic Church and its minister. One might even say that one of the most powerful 
motives that led the Maoris to give their preference to the Catholic Church was not only 
its antiquity, its universality, its unity, its holiness, and its legitimateness, but the 
palpable calumnies that were directed against it, the patience and mildness she 
displayed under the circumstances, and the triumphant refutals she gave to the false 
gods that were being sown broadcast in the country. 

As the Protestant ministers had preceded us in this island by about seventeen or 
twenty years, and had well-organised missionary printing presses, they knew the 
language of the country before us, and had been able to furnish the tribes with more 
pamphlets and books than I had been able to do. Moreover, their stations were more 
numerous than mine. Their missionaries and catechists were spread over all the principal 
inhabited parts of New Zealand, whilst the Catholic mission had only established stations 
over a third of the country. The Protestant mission was established in every place 
where we were, and in mostly every place where we were not. It possessed three or four 
vessels in Oceania, which were exclusively at the disposal of its emissaries, which carried 
the bales of their agents and cases full of books for the use of the people. Heiesy was 
certainly in a better position than the Catholic mission, by the number of its ministers, 
by the extent of country it covered, by the quantity of books it circulated, by the means 
of communication it possessed, and by its enormous pecuniary resources, which were 
furnished annually and with a regularity that left nothing to be desired for the 
forwarding of its administration. The ministers as a rule wanted for nothing on their 
voyages or in their residences ; one might even say that they had a surplus. Their 
clothing was that of the laity, black and of a fashionable cut ; their houses, their 
furniture, and their table placed them in the position of gentlemen of distinguished rank. 
But their knowledge and education was far from being on a level with the position they 
occupied. They were as a rule all man led and burdened with families. One would say 
also that their zeal in Oceania was limited to the buying of lands and the establishing of 
rich farms. One would say also that the whole of their mission consisted in selling 
pamphlets and books to the natives, and in crying down the Church and France, from 
whence the legitimate ministers were sent to these countries. 

The calumnies of heresy in New Zealand in representing us as men who sought to 
seize upon the sovereignty and property of the country, and to burn all the inhabitants, 
were of such a nature as to endanger our lives, and to hold, as it were, a knife continually 
at our throats. For the Maoris are a savage race, cannibals and warriors, and think 
very little of taking the life of a stranger. It is really a providence that we were not 
massacred soon after we landed in the country. But God, who holds the hearts and 
minds of men in His hands, moved these people not a little with His strength and wisdom 
in favour of our person and our cause. Here are some of the answers they made to the 
calumnies which were spread about us and our Church, truths which indeed they had 
learnt from us, but which they gave greater force to by the laconism of their expressions 
and the nature and spirit of their comparisons. 

When heresy, from the very moment of our arrival in New Zealand, told them that 
the Catholic Bishop would seize upon their country and burn them, that it was a 
calamity for the whole country, and that it was their duty to exterminate him or at least 
to drive him away as soon as possible, the Maoris replied : " If this stranger has stolen 
lands elsewhere, or if he has burned any one, which however he has not the appearance 


of having done, it is the place of the people among whom he has committed these offences 
to punish him, or even it is your place, oh whites, whether you be ministers of the word 
of God or only residents in our country, to seize him and inflict on him the penalties of 
your laws. If hereafter this Bishop should show any inclination to commit the deeds 
you impute to him here amongst us, it will be our place to punish him according to our 
customs and justice. But so long as we have nothing to reproach him with, we can only 
leave him alone." 

When heresy wished them to believe that the Catholic Church was a worn out 
church, like the trunk of a tree which was rotten and dead, they answered thus : " But 
from what you yourselves state, it is certain that the Catholic Church is the oldest one, 
and that you sprang from it, and that consequently you are the branches. Now if, as 
you say, this Church is like a trunk that is rotten and dead, how can you yourselves have 
life ? When the trunk of a tree is dead, all the branches of the tree are dead." 

When the ministers of error pressed them to join their sect because the Bishop could 
not at the commencement of his mission furnish them with as great a number of books 
and masters to teach them as their sect offered them, the Maoris answered them : " We 
confidently await the priests of his Church whom he has bid us hope for. We have, it is 
true, but a very small book which he has had printed for our use. However, he is but 
two years in this country. With yourselves, in the commencement of your labours, did 
not several years pass before you were able to distribute small printed leaves to your 
disciples I After all, for omselves, our hearts are our books ; it is through our ears that 
the Word of God entered there ; the light is there, and we will keep it." 

" But," added the ministers of heresy, " the word that has been given to you is that 
of man. Now, that which we bring to you is the word of God, written in His book. 
Look, see, here is the New Testament ; this is really the word of God, and no one can say 
otherwise. Why then do you not accept it when you have no other book like it, and 
when the Bishop will never give you any 1 ?" To all these pressing solicitations the 
Maoris, in their simplicity, replied thus : " We count on the care of our Bishop, who has 
assured us that he will cause us to be instructed by his missionaries and by books of 
instruction which he will have printed. W T e confidently expect them." 

But," still insisted the voice of error, " what ! will your Bishop give you a better 
book than the New Testament, a better book than the word of God 1 " But the natives 
replied to that : " Yes ! what is your New Testament to you, who do not understand it 
and alter its meaning 1 This divine book in your hands is nothing but paper and black 
lines. You have neither the light nor the fruit of life which it contains. For us, the 
sense of the word of God is better than the letter. It is not our eyes that read, but our 
ears that listen and our hearts that understand it. Yes ! the teaching of the Mother 
Church makes us understand the word of God. She writes it on our hearts and our 
hearts are our books. As for yourselves, keep your paper and your black lines. You 
are in darkness and confusion ; leave us in the light and in peace " 

When heresy accused the Catholic Church of worshipping wooden gods, or statues or 
images, calling the attention of the people to the fact that we had in our temples and houses 
crosses, crucifixes, images of the Virgin and of the saints, before which we held religious 
services and prayers, the Maoris answered : " What you say is false. You are either ignorant 
or lying. All the objects of which you speak are not put before us as gods to be worshipped, 
but as memorials of God, who purchased our salvation, and of persons whom it is proper 
to imitate. The worship which is rendered them is not a worship of adoration, but a 
worship of remembrance, cf honour and esteem. And you, Protestant ministers, when 
you prostrate yourselves to the very ground with your prayer-book, is it the ground, or 
your paper, or your God that you adore? Answer ! When you kiss your Bible, is it the 
paper or the truths of God that you are honouring 1 Or when your men-of-war fire a salute 
to some national flag, is it only the stuff and the colours you desire to honour, or is it 
rather the majesty of the sovereigns and the greatness of the people they rule ? Answer 
once more. As for us, when we pray before the cross, we do not adore the wood, but 


Jesus Christ who died on it, only that the cross makes us remember His sufferings and His 
love. When we pray before the pictures of the saints, it is not the paper or the colours 
we see, but the saints whom we cannot see, who are in heaven, and we ask them to pray 
to Jesus Christ for us." 

To all these answers the ministers of error could only make fruitless entreaties, and 
the people remained staunch to the Catholic faith. By these accounts one can have 
some idea of the difficulties that heresy raised against our mission. 

Let us see, now, the victories that, by grace from on high, the Church won over 
error through her ministration. Many years did not pass without the Maoris under 
standing the ignorance, the bad faith, the jealousy, and the hatred of Protestantism 
against the Catholic Church and her clergy ; these people, as a rule, had no esteem, 
affection, or confidence in Protestantism. The arrows of their calumnies, instead of 
striking us, rebounded against themselves, so that all their moral influence may be 
looked upon as being paralysed in New Zealand and the Friendly Islands. In New 
Zealand a great movement has taken place among the people in favour of Catholicism, 
dating from the year 1839. It would be necessary here to write a large volume in order 
to give an account of a host of interesting details relating to each station that the Vicar- 
Apostolic founded. But as the limits of a memoir will not allow a complete history of 
ten years labours in a new mission, and that besides such a work would occupy a 
considerable time, 1 am going to finish this nairative by giving an analysis of the 
principal doings of the mission from June, 1839, to April, 1846, at which period the 
Vicar-Apostolic embarked on board the French corvette /. It /tin at Banks Peninsula, 
to make the voyage to Rome, at which place he now is. 


Analysis of the principal doings of the Mission from June, 1839 Mission established at the Bay of 
Islands Happy impression made by three Remarkable Events Visit of the Vicar Apostolic 
to Whangaroa Sale of the Schooner Ifi-inc. <!e. Puix Movement of the Native Popula 
tion Amval of more Missionaries Two sent to Friendly Islands Hostile Act towards 
the Mission Further Visit to Whangaroa. 

HREE priests and three catechists of the Society of Mary arrived in the schooner 
the Jtrine d>> /Yn .i: on the 16th of June. These people came from Lyons. 
JT^tSifrdl They doubled Cape Horn and put in at Valparaiso, where they met the pro-vicar 
of M. Ronchose, and in partnership with this pro-vicar they purchased the schooner in 
which they came, at the L expense of M. Ronchose and myself, with the condition that 
they should resell it as soon as possible if the two bishops did not approve of the 
purchase and of the alternative duty she was to do of six months in Eastern Oceania and 
six months in Western Oceania. Unfortunately this schooner, though her tonnage was 
sufficient for our coasts, being forty tons register, was badly built. She was too long and 
not broad enough. The six people who came by her told me that they had nearly 
capsixed during the voyage. They called at Gambier and Tahiti ; then they turned out 
of their course to go to Wallis and Futuna, where they visited and provisioned the two 



mission stations before coming to New Zealand, where they finally cast anchor, landing 
at the Bay of Islands. From there they wrote to me at Hokianga, where I had been in 
great distress for more than ten months. The three priests who were on board were 
called Fathers Baty, Epalle and Petit. I went at once to the Bay of Islands to receive 
them and employ them in the mission. I learnt from them that the missionaries and the 
catechists at Wallis and Futuna were well, despite the trials and perils inseparable from 
a mission which starts in the midst of infidelity. However, these stations gave hopes of 
salvation in the future. 

I had been waiting many months witli much impatience for the arrival of fresh 
people and assistance to enable me to pay a pastoral visit to these two tropical stations. 
But learning that they had just been visited and provisioned, and seeing that the work 
in New Zealand required my presence in regard to the spiritual attacks of heresy and 
the newness of the people who had. just come to me, and who were unacquainted 
with the language of the country, I postponed my intended visit to these islands. 

With the funds that were brought me I bought a wooden house at the Bay of 
Islands, with a small bit of land. This house was situated at Kororai eka, which is a 
little township founded by the whites and comprising about fifteen or twenty European 
houses and four tribes of natives, also a Protestant church, which is served by some of 
their ministers who live at Paihia, a place about four miles from Kororareka. The bay 
which fronts this little town otters an excellent anchorage for the vessels which come 
there from all parts. I fixed then my residence at this place, and made, it the head of the 
whole Apostolic Vicariate. This new establishment served at the same time as a store 
and as the principal mission station of ;ill the missions confided to me, and I placed it 
under the patronage of St. Peter and St. Paul. Amongst the seventy white people who 
lived there I found only one Catholic, but nevertheless every one gave me a kindly 

The natives, who number about four hundred, have not as yet embraced the Catholic 
religion, though they have some knowledge of it, either by tradition or by the reading of 
some passages from the New Testament which have been printed in pamphlet form, or by 
having come to listen to the lessons of the Church and of Protestantism. All these people 
showed great satisfaction at my coming to reside in the midst of them. They have, 
however, the reputation of being thieves, exacting and importunate, drunkards, and 
given to licentiousness. 

But the people at Hokianga mourned deeply my change of residence. I sent them 
Father Baty to learn their language and to work with Father Servant, whom I left there 
to instruct them. There were at this station about sixty who had been baptized and 
fifteen hundred catechumens. 

The Protestant missionaries were alarmed and greatly opposed to the establishment 
of the new Catholic mission at Kororaieka. Every Sunday on which they came to hold a 
service in their church they preached sermons filled with their prejudices, their dislike, their 
errors, and their intolerance. They exhorted the inhabitants and the natives to drive 
me from the country, together with the two priests I had with me, but the people, more 
reasonable than they, condemned their fanatical advice and continued to hold us in 
esteem and affection. 

I sent the missionary schooner with Father Epalle to Hokianga, to provision the 
station there, which is under the patronage of St. Joseph. On the return of this schooner 
to the Bay of Islands some weeks after quitting it, I learnt that she had again 
nearly capsi/ed while rounding the North Cape. 1 then determined to get rid of her, 
and sell her, and later on buy another one, which would be better suited to the work of 
the mission. 

From the 29th of June to the end of the month of August, there was a great move 
ment in the minds of the people in favour of the Catholic Church. I longed to see my 
new priests able to speak their language, so that tlu>y might help me to instruct them. 
I was succumbing under the burden, finding myself alone, having to give instructions 


morning and evening, to talk the whole clay to the chiefs and native families who came 
to visit me, and hold conversations on affairs pertaining to salvation. In a very short 
time I had over four hundred and fifty natives inscribed on my lists who wished to follow 
the Catholic religion. 

The niece of the great chief of Kororareka. whose name was Hoki, and who, during 
the first three or four weeks had attended the religious instructions and prayers, fell 
dangerously ill. Soon she was given up by the doctor, who said that her chest was 
completely ruined ; but by the sole help of prayer to the true God at the end of eight or 
nine days her health was perfectly re-established. This native was a widow. She had 
but one little girl, five or six years of age. Hoki was so filled with gratitude towards 
the true God whom she had invoked, together with Mary, the Virgin mother of Jesus 
Christ, that she begged of me to baptize her and her little girl, so that tii rough Holy 
Baptism she might belong to Him altogether. I consented to her wishes, and after 
eight days preparation I baptized them both before the mission altar in the presence of 
a large gathering of the native nobility. The mother received the name of Beata and 
the daughter that of Emeretiana. 

A young child, about twelve years of age, also fell ill. and was given up to death, 
owing to the superstition of its parents. However, they allowed me to give it a little 
nourishment, and joined me in praying to the true God with the rest of my companions, 
and its health was perfectly re-established at the end of three days. 

Some time after, the daughter of Rewa, the greatest chief of the Kororareka, was 
seized with an illness which, in a few hours, brought her to the point of death. Her 
father, who, on his knees, held her swooning in his arms, was in the deepest distress, and 
his tribe, which had gathered round, shared in his grief There was nothing to be heard 
but weeping. On the invitation of the father, I went to him, passing through a crowd 
of natives gathered round the door of the house, who were shedding tears and uttering 
loud cries in their lamentations. It was a touching scene. I advised them to cease 
their weeping, a ceremony which obtains among them when their i-elatives or chiefs are 
in the death agony. I approached Rewa, who held his daughter stretched out across his 
knees. She was unconscious, and gave scarcely any signs of life. 1 took the right hand 
of this young girl, which was not yet cold, but appeared lifeless, and made use of it, all 
helpless as it was, to make the sign of the cross over her. Then I made the chief and all 
the others pray with me. We recited the Credo, the Pater Noster, and the Ave Maria, 
and immediately the dying girl opened her eyes and regained consciousness. She spoke 
to me and saluted me by touching my hand. I made her drink some hot tea that had 
been prepared at the house by my direction, and the grief of the father and of the people 
was changed into a great joy. This daughter, this princess, returned to life and health 
that very day. 

All these providential occurrences, the grace of God assisting, made the happiest 
impression on the inhabitants of all the country round in converting them to the faith ; 
and rumour carried the news of these things far and wide through New Zealand. 

I hastened to confer Holy Baptism on a number of the natives of the Bay of 
Islands. One young man, a c!iief among the nobles, showed an extraordinary disposition 
of grace and faith. He offered himself to accompany me wherever I should go to help 
in the conversion of the people. I baptized him, and gave him the name of Romano. 
He came to live at my establishment to prepare himself to become a catechist. I took 
him with me on my pastoral visits, and he did a vast amount of good by his edifying 
manner, his prudence, and his advice. He asked permission to write to his parents, his 
relatives, and his friends, some of whom lived more than a hundred and fifty leagues 
from the Bay of Islands. There are many chiefs in his family. He begged of them to 
believe in the true God, and to embrace the Holy Mother Church. In a few months 
letters and messengers were sent me by the chiefs of the Bay of Plenty. These people 
asked for a visit to them, to hear what I had to say, and determine what religion they 
should embrace. But alas ! I could not comply with their wishes so quickly ; I could 
only give them the hope that I would come and sec them within two months. 


In the mouth of September I went in the schooner Heine de Paix to visit the people 
of Whangaroa and Mangoiiui, two large ports 011 the north-east coast, twenty leagues 
from the Bay of Islands. The people of Mangonui had sent messengers more than eight 
months before, asking me to visit them, and station someone there to instruct them. 
But at that time it was impossible for me to go ; I was in great want, and had no one to 
give them. The Protestants, who knew my situation, profited by it to gain a part of 
these people for their own sects. However, the visit I made in September, 1839, 
encouraged all those who waited for me with constancy, and I inscribed them on tli<> 
Catholic list, leaving them with the hope that as soon as my new priests, who had arrived 
in June, should know their language, 1 would send some one to work for their salvation. 
In the meantime I taught them the principal truths of religion, and distributed some 
little books I had had printed in their language at Kororareka. These books contained 
an abridged doctrine of the Catholic faith, the morning and evening prayers, and a 
method for learning reading. 

On my return to the Bay of Islands, I sold the schooner Jtrine <lc Paix for what she 
cost. I sent Monseigneur Rouchose half the money, as a half share in the schooner 
belonged to His Grace and half to me. 

The natives of Kororareka, who in the preceding years had sold nearly all their land 
in this interesting bay to the whites, went to live in a neighbouring bay five leagues 
distant, called Marion Bay, or, in Maori, Terawiti. Scarcely any white people were 
living there. They gave themselves up to the cultivation of the fertile lands, and their 
position was better as regards morality, as they were quitting a maritime port to go into 
the country. But they were less favourably situated as regards religious instruction, 
being farther away from our establishment. We made up for it, however, by going to 
visit them, and they themselves, some at one time, some at another, coming to listen, to 
the instruction at Kororareka. Never a Sunday passed without a number of them 
attending the services at the station. 

In December there arrived at the Bay of Islands four new priests of the Society of 
Mary. They were the Reverend Fathers Petit-Jean, Viard, Comte, and Chevron, and 
also a catechist, Brother Attale. They also brought with them funds for tiie adminis 
tration of the Apostolic Vicariate. I rendered heartfult thanks to God for this 

There was a brig lying oft the coast which was to sail in a few days for Fiji and the 
Friendly Islands. I took this opportunity to send Father Chevron and Brother Attale 
to assist Father Chanel and Father Batailloii in their labours. Funds were also sent to 
them. This took place about the 17th or 18th of the month. I hastened also to send 
Father Comte to Hokianga, to help this first station, and to learn the Maori language. 
All the others remained at the establishment at the Bay of Islands, and applied 
themselves to the study of the language. 

In January, 1840, all the principal chiefs of the Tauranga tribes in the Bay of 
Plenty wrote me letters in which they pressed me to pay them a visit, as they wished to 
come to a determination in religious matters, and decide which church they should 
embrace. Tauranga is about eighty leagues from the Bay of Islands. These chiefs had 
given their letters to the captain of a vessel who traded on the coast between the two 
places. There were also on board some Tauranga natives who knew that he had letters 
to hand over to the Catholic bishop on behalf of their chiefs. The natives had scarcely 
reached the Bay of Islands when they informed me that there were letters for me on 
board in the hands of the captain, who, although a Protestant, had undertaken to come 
and see me himself and place the letters in my own hands. But three days passing 
without my receiving them, and without receiving the visit spoken of by the natives, and 
seeing that he was making preparations for another voyage, I sent the neophyte Romano, 
who knew him personally, with a written authority to receive the letters addressed to me. 
He went on board in the captain s own boat, which the sailors were taking oft from the 
shore to the vessel, which was about to sail. Romano civilly asked the captain for the 


letters sent to the Catholic bishop by the chiefs of Tauranga, who were his relatives. 
But the good neophyte was repulsed with anger. He produced my written authority. 
The enraged captain, scarcely reading the letter, threw it from the poop into the water ; 
then he compelled Romano to cast himself into the tide to swim to the shore, which was 
some distance off. The Catholic neophyte held his peace. Out of respect, he picked up 
the letter floating on the water, and placed it in his breast to bring it back to me. Half 
way between the vessel and the shore his strength failed him, and he was nearly 
drowned. But, full of faith, he made the sign of the Cross, and found his strength at 
once return ; in a little while he reached the shore and was safe. He came to my house 
all wet through, and told me all I have related. He added, that had he not been a 
Catholic, the captain would have paid dearly for the outrage he had committed, and that 
if the chiefs at Tauranga knew of his conduct, the very least they would do would be to 
forbid him trading to their bay, which was the principal place of his trade. I advised the 
neophyte to say nothing, but to leave the true God only to act, adding that nothing in 
the world would induce me to make a voyage in this captain s vessel on account of the 
risk of shipwreck and death that the Lord in His formidable justice might inflict on those 
sailors who persecuted His church in her labours. It was therefore settled with Romano 
that our only vengeance should be, to pray for this captain that God might change him 
and pardon him. But alas, very few years passed before he was wrecked, and he perished 
in the waves : all were lost, vessel, crew, and passengers. 

However, before this misfortune occurred, this captain appeared to have repented 
his bad behaviour towards the mission. On his return he came to see me, brought me 
letters from the chiefs at Tauranga, which he had made them write over again under the 
pretext that the others were not clean enough to offer me. Reflection had returned to 
this man. He saw how much harm he had done himself in not having fulfilled the 
commission of the chiefs with whom he traded. He wished to take me himself to these 
people, to make reparation for everything, although he always denied that it was he who 
had maltreated Romano, and cast the blame on one of the officers on board. 

In six months time all the priests who came in the second shipment in June, 1839, 
knew the language well enough to commence instructing the people who were continually 
pressing the Bishop to station a priest among them. Wishing to definitely establish a 
third missionary station at Whangaroa, and to instal Father Epalle there, I embarked 
with this new fellow-labourer on board a small vessel. The people of this bay were 
greatly pleased at the accomplishment of my promises. They made me choose a site for 
the residence, they set apart a little land on which to build a church, and make a ceme 
tery, and a small enclosure for garden. A Catholic European, an Italian, offered me a 
temporary residence for the missionaries, which I accepted. I returned to the Bay of 
Islands with Father Epalle, who immediately set about making his preparations for the 
mission for the new station. I sent with him Father Petit-Jean, and the catechist, 
Brother Elie. Some weeks later all three left for Whangaroa, where work to be done 
was not wanting, and where the mission developed itself rapidly, as the people who 
formerly said only the Catholic prayers, were anxious to be taught the whole doctrine of 
salvation. I placed this third station under the patronage of the Epiphany, which 
corresponded with the date of the visit I paid to this spot and determined to establish the 
mission there. About four miles from the site of our station is an establishment of 
Anglican missionaries, which has been in existence for some years, and where a certain 
number of the natives go every Sunday to receive instruction and attend divine service. 



Annexation by (ireat Britain Captain Hobson attempts to take Possession for the English 
Crown The Vicar Apostolic attends the Meeting at Waitangi The Catholic Mission in 
January, 1840 Establishing a Mission at Tauranga Visit to Matamata Restitution by 
the Natives of Stolen (ioods Visit to Opotiki Return to Tauranga Voyage to Hauraki 
M. D Urville at Bay of Islands Departure of Father Viard for Tauranga. 

N January, 1840, Captain Hobson arrived at the Bay of Islands with the 
qualification of English Consul and Vice-Governor of New Zealand, under 
the immediate control of the Governor of Sydney, in New Holland. The 
corvette, the Iferald, brought Captain Hobson and nil the members of his approaching 
colonial administration. 

The Protestant missionaries spread the report amongst the natives that this time 
the Catholic Bishop \vas going to be taken out of the country by the English man-o -war 
which lay at anchor off the coast. They said also that I would not dare appear at the 
public meetings that the new Governor was going to hold with the Maori chiefs and the 
whites, to talk over with them his plans for the colonial administration of New Zealand. 
All the natives in the country were astounded both at the arrival of a strange 
Governor and at the strange reports that were flying about. The day after this arrival, 
the Maori chiefs received printed letters from Captain Hobson, inviting them to meet at a 
place in the Bay called Waitangi, where a treaty was to be read to them in their own 
language and afterwards signed by them. Many of the Catholic chiefs came to consult 
me, above all the great chief Kewa. They asked me what was to be done under the 
circumstances in which their country was placed, and whether they ought or not to sign. 
I answered them that these were political matters which were outside of my province ; 1 
was only in this country to pasture souls in the word of God and to direct them in faith, 
morality, and the Catholic discipline, confer the sacraments of salvation on persons of 
whatsoever nationality, who should have recourse to my ministry in a proper disposition ; 
that there ended my divine mission. It was for them to determine what they might 
desire to do with their national sovereignty, whether to keep it or to transfer it to a 
foreign nation ; they were therefore at liberty to sign or not to sign the treaty which was 
going to be put before them ; that for myself and my clergy we were prepared to exercise 
our ministry of salvation for those who signed in the same manner as for those who did 
not sign ; in a word, we were prepared to instruct them in the faith whether they 
continued New Zealanders or became English. Now, in this way I kept myself entirely 
aloof from politics, and the people were at liberty to do as seemed best to them with 
regard to their social state of life, and I remained free in what concerned my ministry 
for the spiritual and Christian life they had to follow in the Catholic church. 

I went, dressed in my Episcopal cassock, to the great meeting of the chiefs of the 
Bay of Islands with the whites, over which Captain. Hobson presided. His Excellency 
was surrounded by the otticers of the corvette and by a number of Protestant mission 
aries. My coming was a great surprise to the latter, and to the natives who had heard 
that I should never dare to appear there. Mr. Hobson received me with much civility 
and respect, and caused me to be put in a place of distinction. A political treaty which 
the English Government wished to conclude with the Maoris was read and explained to 
them. By virtue of this treaty the Maoris became English subjects ; they remained 
masters of their landed property, but they were not allowed to sell, as formerly, to private 


purchasers. Tf they desired to sell any of their land, they could only do so with the 
consent of the Colonial Government. 

While the speeches were being made on behalf of Captain Hobson and of the chiefs 
of the Maori tribes, I remained silent ; I had nothing to say ; they were simply about 
political matters. One question however interested me deeply, it was that of religious 
freedom, about which no one in anyway seemed to trouble themselves. Before the last 
meeting broke up and it became a question of signing the treaty, I broke my silence. I 
addressed Captain Hobson, begging him to make known to all the people the principles 
of European civilisation which obtain in Great Britain, and which would guarantee free 
and equal protection to the Catholic as to every other religion in New Zealand. My 
demand was immediately acceded to by Captain Hobson, who made a formal notification 
of it to all the assembled people, to the great satisfaction of all the Catholic chiefs and 
tribes, who triumphed in the fact of my presence in the face of the Protestant mission 
aries and at the speedy compliance with the few words I had spoken. 

As to the political treaty, was it or was it not understood by the natives ? That is 
a mystery difficulty to solve. The result was that some chiefs signed it and some did 
not. But the Catholic religion gained instead of losing its dignity and its influence over 
the minds of the people. 

When a certain number- of chiefs had signed the treaty, the sovereignty of England 
over the whole of New Zealand was declared by a salvo of artillery fired by the corvette 
Herald. The English flag floated over the country and Mr. Hobson took the title of 
V r ice-Governor of New Zealand. 

As for myself, I exercised my ministry as freely as before over all parts of this 
large archipelago. The Governor seemed to have a particular regard for the Catholic 
Bishop. His Excellency promised that my future missionary vessel should be free from 
all imposts, and that everything that came to me from beyond the country for the 
purpose of my labours should be free from duty. My position at this period disappointed 
not a little the ill-will of those who had spread sinister reports about myself and my 
clergy, some weeks before. The people became more and more confirmed in the idea 
that Protestantism had always been deceiving them. They saw, moreover, that we had 
come to New Zealand but for them and the ends of salvation, in favour of every soul 
that lived in the country, not troubling ourselves as to what national flag they 
belonged. They saw in our hands but one standard : that of the cross which leads to 
heavenly glory. 

At one time they had said that the Catholic Bishop had come to seize upon the 
sovereignty of New Zealand, and they beheld him remaining and working just as before, 
after possession had been taken. 

Many natives, in their uprightness, said, " It was all very well for the Protestant 
ministers to tell us so much about the Catholic Bishop taking our country ; but, on the 
contrary, it was themselves, in their own nation, who took it from us." From all these 
new circumstances there resulted on the part of the people, English and Maoris, but 
especially the latter, more esteem, more confidence, and more attention for the Bishop 
and the Catholic clergy. 

At this time the mission already extended over the whole of the northern portion 
of the North Island of New Zealand. People had been baptized at the Bay of Islands, 
Hokianga, Kaipara, Whangaroa, and Mangonui, and catechumens were everywhere in 
large numbers. The principal tribes, where the people had been converted to the 
Catholic Church, besides those just named, were Ahipara, Wangape, Waimate, Matahuri, 
Tepuna, Terawiti, Taiamai, and on the rivers Waikare and Kawakawa. Such was the 
country I had been able to travel over up to the date of January, 1810. 

In the month of February following, I fulfilled the promise I had made to the chiefs 
of the Tauranga tribes. I hired a small schoc.ner and made the journey to them by sea. 
During that time Father Petit took charge of the Kororareka station. Tauranga is 
about eighty leagues from the Bay of Islands. I was accompanied by Father Viard, 
Brother Michel, and the excellent neophyte, Romano. When we reached the open sea, 
after quitting the Bay of Islands, it was night ; a fearful storm, such as seldom visits 


these coasts, arose, and compelled the captain to put back to Kororareka to save himself 
from the danger of shipwreck, which was imminent. We were on the point of perishing 
on the reefs at the entrance to the port. Three days afterwards we started again. The 
great chief Rewa asked me for a passage for himself and his son as far as the Hauraki 
Kiver. I received him on board according to his wish and disembarked them at the spot 
they desired. He went to see his relative*, to exhort them to embrace the Catholic 
religion. It was agreed that on my return from Tauranga, I should pick him up again 
and go and visit the tribes of Hauraki. We arrived at Tauranga on the llth of March, 
the feast of St. Thomas Acquinis. We had scarcely entered the vast bay of this place 
when canoes full of natives came close to our schooner. These natives were sent by the 
chiefs to learn if the Catholic Bishop was on board. On seeing me they were convinced ; 
they saluted me by touching my hand and returned at full speed to the shore to announce 
my arrival. The chiefs immediately prepared to receive me. 

T hastened in the schooner s boat to the nearest tribe of this bay, where Tupaea, 
principal chief, lived. Father Viard and the captain of the schooner accompanied me. 
The shore was lined with natives, who both by voice and gesture invited us to come to 
them. They nred oft guns as a sign of rejoicing. A large number of the young people 
came into the water and dragged our boat ashore. Directly we set foot on shore the 
crowd threw themselves in our way ; each one saluted us and wished to shake hands with 
us. We entered a vast enclosure where the people and the chiefs were gathered together. 
They made me and those with me sit upon the trunk of a tree. As to themselves, they, 
as was their custom, were seated on the ground. Silence fell and continued. We 
contemplated with affection the crowd who covered us with their eyes. Then some of 
the chiefs rose up and made me some interesting speeches, walking backwards and 
forwards in front of me When they had finished, I arose also and made a speech to the 
chiefs and all the people, which they seemed to listen to and receive with a good 
disposition. In this speech, which lasted ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, I expressed 
my pleasure at the good reception they had accorded me, and the great desire I had had 
to visit them. 1 told them of the far-off countries whence we came, and of the sacrifices 
we had made for them (here they appeared quite affected), and of the ends we had in 
view in coming to them, which were not to obtain their lands, nor their authority, nor 
their possessions, but solely to labour for their true happiness by bringing them the true 
word of God, and all the helps of salvation, of which the Mother Church alone is the 
treasurer and the dispenser by the hands of her ministers. 

The whole day was passed in visiting the principal families of this tribe. About 
three or five miles from there was a station of Protestant missionaries, who have a 
certain number of followers. Some resided at the place where I was. All the people of 
this bay for some time past have unceasingly heard the usual calumnies of Protestantism 
against the Catholic Church. So the first and second days of my stay among them were 
passed in conversations, in which the objections of heresy were brought forward by the 
natives, who listened to their refutation with joy and conviction. They decided in great 
numbers, with all thv-ir chiefs, to embrace the Mother Church, so I gave them 
constant instruction in the principal truths of salvation. At the end of three or 
four days they could make the sign of the Cross, reciting the Credo, the Pater Noster, 
and the Ave Maria by heart. T distributed the small prayer-book and abridged 
instructions among them, which they read eagerly and preserved, to recall to them the 
oral teaching I had just given them. On the Sunday following my arrival among them 
Father Viard and Brother Michel erected an altar in the great enclosure whei*e the 
meeting had taken place, and ornamented it to the best of their ability. I celebrated 
Holy Mass there solemnly, and gave a discourse to more than four hundred natives, who 
attended. The following day, before quitting this interesting tribe, I inscribed the 
names of the principal families on the list of catechumens, and left them the hope of 
getting a priest of my jurisdiction to instruct and improve them habitually. 

Then by means of a large canoe, in which we were conducted by some thirty 
natives, we went to visit the tribes of Maungatapu, Motu Hoa, and Matakana. These 
people gave me everywhere a good reception, and God granted in their favour the 


same blessings to my ministrations as He had granted to the inhabitants of Otumoetai. 
Everywhere instructions in the faith were given, everywhere our little books were dis 
tributed, and everywhere they made the sign of the cross and invoked the true God. 

We returned to Otumoetai. The chiefs begged me to go and carry the light of the 
Mother Church to Matamata and Waikato. I consented. All this time I left the 
schooner at anchor on the coast, and Father Viard in the midst of the tribes of 
Otumoetai and Maungatapu. There are from twelve to fifteen hundred souls in the 
Bay of Tauranga. Although Father Viard did not as yet know the Maori language, he 
was able to read to the people the small prayer-books and instructions ; teach them 
how to make the sign of the cross, and sing to them a canticle on the true God, His 
perfections and His blessings. As to myself, I left for the interior, a two days journey. 
We crossed the Bay of Tauranga, through bush and rivers and swamps ; we slept one 
night in the bush. The next day we arrived at Matamata. All these people are, as a 
rule, inticlels, and in a comparative state of nature ; there are, however, a few Protestants. 
They had already been advised of my visit, and eagerly awaited me ; they sent tive chiefs 
of distinction to meet me, and carry me on their shoulders over the swamps on a litter. 
It took over an hour s walking to reach their village, which was very well constructed. 
Matamata contains about live or six hundred natives. They accorded me a most solemn 
reception. I remained a week amongst them. Everyday, morning and evening, we had 
instruction, then prayer, which I taught them for the first time. Continual conversations 
took place during the day with the chiefs, surrounded by their families and people. 
Before leaving them, I inscribed nearly tive hundred names on my catechumen list. The 
chiefs also wrote letters for me to the tribes of the Waikato, their allies, exhorting them 
to embrace the Catholic religion, as they had done. All these people showed me the 
greatest confidence and affection. They would not rest satisfied unless I gave them at 
least the hope of seeing me again, and of obtaining a priest to dwell among them. 
When I left, they accompanied me in crowds for a long way, and never ceased bestowing 
affectionate salutations on me At length we separated, and they provided men to carry 
me to the otheY side of their long swamps. 

On returning to Tauranga, I saw with pleasure that the people continued in their 
good dispositions. Father Viard gave me a good account of them. He was already well 
liked, and the people wished to keep him. But he did not as yet know the language 
well enough, and it was necessary that lie should accompany me to the other tribes in 
the Bay of Plenty. 1 left them the hope that I would send him back to them later on, 
and they were satisfied. But, before leaving, I learnt that some weeks prior to my 
arrival at Tauranga, a vessel had perished on the coast at the very time of that famous 
storm which had placed ourselves in danger on our departure from the Bay of Islands. 
Some of the Tauranga natives had seized a number of things belonging to the vessel, 
and the captain, who with his crew had been saved from the wreck, deplored the loss he 
had just sustained, and the things that were taken from him. I asked if the native 
robbers were Protestant or Catholic catechumens. They told me that the greater number 
were Protestants, but at the time of the wreck there were also some infidels, who had 
during my visit become Catholic catechumens. I went at once to where they lived and 
exhorted them to fulfil the duty of restitution. Although the laws of cupidity which 
formerly obtained among them allowed them to appropriate vessels that were wrecked 
on their shores, 1 had not much difficulty in persuading them that these laws were not 
just, and that they ought to return to the shipwrecked proprietor the things they had 
taken from him. They gave way to my decision, and brought to my feet, one after 
another, a pretty good-si/ed heap of clothing, blankets, and calico, which I at once sent 
to the captain to whom they belonged. All the white people at this place were surprised 
at the change religion had effected in these people. Myself, I blessed the Lord for it. 
1 left them, showing my satisfaction at their docility and at the good dispositions the true 
God had placed in their souls for their salvation. 

When we went to re-embark, the chiefs made us a present of a large number of 
baskets of potatoes and ten pigs for our voyage to Opotiki. This present was a great 
sign of their affection and gratitude, and also a friendly return, on their part, for some 



trousers and clothing I had made a present of to the three great chiefs of Otumoetai. 
We hastened on board the schooner on the 22nd March, 1840. When we left the shore 
to embark, the young natives followed at a distance, in the water, the boat which was 
taking us. A.t length, when we arrived on board, sail was set and we got under weigh 
for Opotiki. 

After two short days sail we arrived at the Bay of Ohiwa, where the schooner 
remained at anchor and we went by land, along the sea-shore, as far as Opotiki, which is 
five hours walk from this bay. W T e were received there with cordiality and solemnity. 
The chief Moka, who belongs to the Bay of Islands, and is married to a girl of the highest 
rank in Opotiki, preceded us to this tribe ; he had already caused to be constructed a 
church of reeds, and had exhorted all the people to receive the Catholic Bishop kindly 
and become converted to the Mother Church. 

As soon as I arrived at this place I commenced to instruct the people in the principal 
truths of religion and the morning and evening prayers, and they learnt them and the 
sign of the cross with much diligence and promptness. The tribe of Opotiki consists of 
nearly seven hundred natives, and T registered on my list of converts to the Catholic 
Church about six hundred and sixty of them. Before leaving Opotiki I celebrated Holy 
Mass in the church made of reeds, and I baptized a little child of one of the greatest chiefs, 
giving her the name of Mary. 

Before my departure from their tribe these people asked me to draw up a written 
deed, by virtue of which the possession of their lands would be made common to them all, 
and in such a manner that it would be unlawful for any one, no matter who, to sell the 
smallest portion. This deed further provided that they should furnish sufficient land for 
the necessities of the Catholic worship. 

I left the people of Opotiki well disposed towards tl-e Catholic faith, and with a 
knowledge of the necessary truths, and practising their morning and evening prayers. 
When I went from among them they wished to make me a present of eight splendid 
pigs, which they brought themselves to the shore at Ohiwa, to my hired schooner. 

Scarcely had I arrived at this deserted bay, when several native nobles, from some 
leagues distant, came to me to notify the good wishes of the people of the tribes to which 
they belonged, who desired my visit and the teachings of the Mother Church. Some of 
them came from the interior of the island, others belonged to chiefs whose tribes were on 
the sea-shore close to Whakatane. Those from the interior of the island brought me large 
flax leaves on which they had marked in strokes a great number of tens of natives who 
wished to embrace the Catholic religion. To these I gave hopes that T would hereafter 
send them a priest to instruct them, then I went to visit those who dwelt by the sea 
shore, for it was impossible for me to comply with all the wishes of these people in the 
one voyage ; the general welfare of the mission required my presence at my residence at 
the Bay of Islands. I contented myself therefore with going to the tribes of Whaka 
tane, tw r o days walk distant along the sea-shore. At one place there were chiefs of high 
rank whose conversion brought more than three thousand natives to the church from 
near the East Cape, and a great number of others from near Kotorua, Kupenga, Ware- 
tahuna, and Taupo. There lived also on the sea-coast of Whakatane an aged and very 
influential chief called Tautari, who had the reputation of being one of the greatest 
warriors and cannibals in New Zealand. This chief was converted, and by his con 
version brought with him many people. T celebrated Holy Mass at least once in each 
tribe, and left with them the explanation of the necessary truths, and the practice of 
morning and evening prayer. In my voyages to the Bay of Plenty, which includes the 
tribes of Tauranga, Matamata, Whakatane, and Opotiki, as far as Warekaika Point, I 
had registered on my list of catechumens about five thousand native nobles ; but the 
total number of the people who embraced the teachings of the true faith may be esti 
mated at about fifteen thousand. 

During my visit to the tribes on the coast of the Bay of Plenty my hired schooner 
remained at Ohiwa. When I required it and sent to the captain for it to take me to 
Tauranga, she struck on the bar and damaged her rudder. She returned to port for 
repairs, and we rejoined her at that place, and were detained fifteen days before we 


were able to leave. It was then Paschal time and Holy Week. We could not even say 
Holy Mass on Easter Sunday, because the few bottles of wine on board were broken 
by the shocks the vessel had received in touching on the bar at the entrance of the port. 
But we consoled ourselves in conforming to the Divine will, which is a source of grace 
for the missionaries and for every child of the Church. 

By Easter Sunday the damage to the schooner had been repaiied. We were able to 
put out to the open sea from our place of detention, where we had been for ten days. 
We crossed the bar at Ohiwa, and a day and a-half afterwards arrived at Tauranga, 
where I found the people in the same disposition as I had left them, and where I bap 
tized a lad of twelve or fourteen years of age, who was in danger of death. 

After a day and a-half s sail we arrived at Hauraki, anchoring in the Bay of Coro- 
mandel. There we received on board a visit from several natives, chiefs of tribes, who 
already knew by tradition that the Catholic Bishop was the minister of the true Church 
in New Zealand. These visitors asked for my presence amongst their people, and I 
hastened to comply with their desires. I went abouc thirty leagues up the river 
Hauraki into the interior. The people had their names inscribed on the list of 
Catholic catechumens, and I left them with a knowledge of the necessary truths of 
salvation and practising morning and evening prayer. Small books of religious instruc 
tion were distributed amongst them as had been done at Tauranga and Opotiki ; hopes 
were given them that some of the priests under my jurisdiction should be sent them, and 
T left, desiring to help them as speedily as possible. 

On leaving the Bay of Coromandel I went by Manukau to pick up the great chief 
llewa, whom I had left there on my way to Tauranga, but he could not come, and I left 
for the Bay of Islands. In less than two days we arrived at the place of my residence 
at Kororareka ; this was in the commencement of May, 1840. I learnt then that two 
French corvettes belonging to the scientific expedition of M. Dumond d Urville had 
remained there for several days expecting me ; that the captain had shown himself very 
well disposed towards the mission and the Catholic bishop ; that solemn mass had been 
celebrated one Sunday by the Rev. Father Petit, and that the commander, M. 
D Urville, and several sailors of the crew, had assisted at it with much edification, and 
lastly, that this illustrious commander had made a present of a quantity of useful objects 
to the mission, and that he had left the port greatly regretting not having met me. 

During my stay at the Bay of Islands 1 conferred baptism on a good number of 
natives. This sacrament, which made them Christians, was also administered at Wlian- 
garoa and Hokianga. Soon we numbered in the northern part of the North Island close 
upon a thousand native neophytes. 

Shortly after my return to the Bay of Islands I exerted myself to fulfil the promise 
I had made to the people of Tauranga. I sent them a priest in the peisoii of Father 
Viard, whom they loved. He was accompanied by the native neophyte Romano, who 
had relatives at that place, and who enjoyed much esteem and confidence. The wishes 
of the people of Tauranga were completely crowned when they received the priest and 
neophyte. The mission in that place had prompt success. These natives gave the 
Bishop some pieces of land for the residence of their missionary, and as sites for the 
churches. Baptisms were soon conferred at Tauranga, and a certain number of neo 
phytes there were the cause of great comfort. The success of the mission repaid me for 
the sacrifice I had made of the good catechist Romano, whom 1 had deprived myself of in 
favour of Tauranga. 



Arrival of the L Anh, with French Settlers Planting Mission,- on the South Island 
Voyages on tlio .* /<-. re-christened the Xam-fa Mnrin, Conversion of the South Island 
Natives -The Morals of the Maori Dance- A Troublous Incident at Moeraki Visit to 
Akaroa and Port Nicholson ; also to the Peninsula of Terakaho. 

July, IS 10, the Fivnch corvette l. Auh,- arrived at the Pay of Islands. 
She was under tlio command of M. Invalid, a captain of tlio lushest merit, 
prudent and experienced. 1 his corvette came from Franco. She had doubled 
he Capo of Uood Hope and brought mo two priests and two catochists of tho Society of 
Mary : also funds for tlio propagation of tlio faith under my Apostolic Vicariate. This 
reinforcement of people anil pecuniary assistance facilitated the establishment of a now 
station at Akaroa, in the South Island, and the acquisition of a schooner, which was 
necessary for the service of religion in Oceania. The names of tho two new priests were 
Fathers IVsant and Tripe. Captain Lavaud, who came to settle a French colony on 
Hanks Peninsula in the South island, had established relations of peace and goodwill 
with the English civil authorities. 

1 provided two priests and a catechist for the nrssion in the South Island. Captain 
Lavaud kindly took upon himself to convey them there on his corvette free of charge. 1 
despatched with him Father Comte, whom 1 brought from Hokianga, where he had 
learnt the Maori language passably, and Father Pesant, who had just come from France, 
and Brother Florentin, who was fairly well up in the catechist work of the mission. As 
to Father Tripe, he stayed at the house at the Kay of Islands. Before the departure of 
these people on the corvette JJAube, I purchased the topsail schooner, the Atlas, 
American bottom. This small vessel is destined solely for the spiritual work of the 
mission : no commercial transactions are to be undertaken by her. So the English 
authorities, although Protestants, freed her from all dues, and the French authorities 
granted her special protection as being necessary for my labours. Here in Oceania it is 
impossible to travel from one archipelago to another without a vessel. Heresy has 
several at its disposal, and it was necessary that the Vicar Apostolic should have at least 
one. It is more necessary here than was their barque to the Apostles, and to Jesus 
Christ, their Divine Master and ours, for journeys on the lakes of Judea. There is 
nothing extraordinary or surprising that there should be in Oceania a vessel held as 
Church property and at the service of religion. For the end imposes the means ; it is 
necessary to evangelise the people ; it is necessary to go to them from island to island, 
from archipelago to archipelago. So a vessel was absolutely necessary for the Vicar 
Apostolic, to enable him to go amongst the people under his jurisdiction, and to send 
them missionaries and all the necessaries of salvation. 

The topsail schooner, the Atlas, which I acquired at the Bay of Islands, cost about 
thirty -live thousand francs, and an annual expenditure of from fifteen to eighteen 
thousand francs to keep her in working order for the work of the mission. Her bottom 
was not coppered, and it is necessary, especially in the sens of Oceania, that vessels should 
be coppered, otherwise the worm gets into the wood and destroys it. I bought, there 
fore, the sheets of copper that were necessary to obviate these inconveniences and 
dangers. I blessed the vessel, and christened her the Sancta Maria, and then started in 
September, accompanied by Father Tripe, for Banks Peninsula, whither Captain Lavaud 
had preceded us by some weeks, and whither lie had taken the two priests and the 
catechist of my mission. At the end of ten or twelve days we reached that place, which 


is about two hundred and fifty leagues from the Bay of Islands. Arrived at Banks 
Peninsula, T asked Captain Lavaud, in the name of the King s minister, under whose 
protection I was, to nail to my missionary vessel the sheets of copper I had purchased for 
that purpose. The good-hearted captain consented to all I asked. He had the work 
done, which took about a month. During that time, T, with my missionaries for this 
place, worked at the ministration of salvation for the white people, and the natives who 
had settled themselves in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Akaroa. .Several of tin; 
former approached the sacraments, and the latter received instructions in the faith. 

When the Saiicta Maria was thoroughly repaired, I set sail for the Bay of Otago, 
where a considerable number of natives reside. Otago is about fifty leagues to the South 
of Akaroa. Fathers Comte and Pesant accompanied me, and Father Tripe remained at 
Akaroa to minister to those of the inhabitants who understood the French language. 

Going dowji towards Otago with a favourable wind, we ran great danger. The 
Saticta Maria, whilst sailing along near the entrance to Otago (the coast being still but 
little known to sailors), ran on some hidden reefs below water, but happily broke nothing, 
and the captain saved her from being wrecked, and our lives from the perils of 
death, by getting her away from these rocks and out into the open sea, favoured by a 
strong breeze which lifted her off the reefs. 

Two days afterwards we reached Otago all safe. The people of this Bay had not as 
yet been evangelised by anyone. My arrival amongst them had already been announced 
by the natives of Banks Peninsula. They received the visit I paid them very well. At the 
end of ten days they knew the necessary truths of religion, made the sign of the cross, 
and said the Catholic prayers. 

Although the Protestant ministers have not as yet enrolled them in their sects, these 
people have nevertheless received among them some native disciples of heresy, who have 
taught them some short prayer and a canticle that they sing morning arid evening. One 
might see also, in the hands of some of them, little Protestant books, that their native 
catechists hawked all over New Zealand. Already, in the tribes of Otago, they had 
heard the lies that heresy caused to be circulated, to set these people against the Mother 
Church, and cause them to embrace the sects of error. Here is one of the lies which 
made the most impression on their minds 

They had told these people from tribe to tribe, from Cook s Straits to the end of the 
South Island, that the books of the Protestants carried with them a special protection 
from God for those who procured them. When they had these books about them in 
time of war or combat, the balls of the enemy would flatten themselves against their 
bodies without wounding them, while their own would always hit their mark, and would 
strike ten people with the one shot, glancing from one to the other of the victims that 
were to be struck by it. Alas ! how easy it is to deceive people who are in the darkness 
of ignorance arid a state of childishness as they are in the bosom of infidelity. So how 
eager they were to purchase the Protestant books ! These books were a source of income 
to the ministers of error, and drew into their sects the natives who believed in their lies. 
I set myself to work, therefore, in Otago to undeceive the people about the falsehoods 
that had been told them. They saw at once the abuse that had been made of their 
ignorance and credulity. They gave me their confidence and affection, received my little 
instruction books, and begged of rne earnestly to leave them one of the priests that I had 
with me, and who assisted me in instructing them. But for the present I could only 
promise to endeavour to send one by-and-by. I wished greatly to comply with their 
desires, for at a certain distance from Otago a Wesleyan minister had already come to 
settle himself in the establishment of a rich farmer, at whose house he carried on his 
ministration in English for the benefit of the whites who were working at this place, and 
w here he was studying the language of the natives in order to instruct them hereafter. 

During the stay I made in Otago, the people of Foveaux Straits, having learnt of 
my arrival and my labours, sent me a deputation to beg of me to corne and instruct 
them. They live at Ruapuke, and along the sea-shore of this place, which is fifty 
leagues from Otago at least. The messengers who came to seek me were a white man 
and five or six natives from their tribes. The white man was an Irishman by birth and 


a Catholic. He brought with him two of his children, whom I solemnly baptized on 
board the tiancta Maria. I also prepared to set sail for Kuapuke ; but the wind and 
sea became so contrary and so bad for more than a week that it was impossible for my 
captain to take the missionary schooner there. So, to the great regret of the messengers, 
I was unable to undertake the voyage. I gave them some small books, and made up my 
mind to go to them at some future time, when the season should be more favourable. 

In Otago, one Sunday, I celebrated Mass, as solemnly as was possible for us, in a large 
shed that an English merchant, a Protestant, had the goodness to lend us to hold divine 
service in. All the natives of the Bay assisted at it, some twenty English, American, 
and French whalers also came. The greater number of whites were Protestants. All the 
same, they displayed the greatest religious respect for the ceremonies of the Church. 
Under these circumstances I gave two addresses, one in English to the whites, and one in 
Maori to the natives. One would have said on that day that they were all Catholics. 
Everyone expressed a desire that a missionary station should at once be established in 
that country. Alas ! why had I not at this time the funds and missionaries I needed to 
comply with the general request 1 All these people would to-day have been Catholics. 

Although the Soutli Island of New Zealand, which the natives call Tewaipounamu, 
is at least as large as the North Island, called Tekanamawi, yet it is far from being so 
populous. The island Tewaipounamu did not count above five or six thousand natives 
at the time I visited its coasts in 1840. All these people flocked to the Mother Church. 

There would be an enormous amount of details to give about the conversion of these 
people to the Church in 1840. But time will not allow me to describe them. T shall 
quote only a few facts, which will show how wonderful was the power of grace over this 
heathenish and savage people. 

After having instructed the inhabitants of Moeraki during five or six days, I was 
overwhelmed with questions by them on the dogmas and morals of religion. The whole 
day was passed in preaching and instructive conversations. They wished me to tell them 
everything in their manners and customs which did not conform with the will of the true 
God, the Father of all mankind, whom they desired to love and serve Prudence would 
not allow me to reform everything in a few days, especially such things as concerned 
only improprieties from a civilized point of view, or of conscience, had they had a perfect 
knowledge of what they were doing. Generally speaking, as regards customs, I insisted 
only at first on the practice of the exclusive adoration of the true God, on zeal in 
instructing themselves in the truths of the faith, the first principles and the proximate 
consequences of the laws of nature, revealed in the Decalogue. Faith is indeed the first 
grace which must precede all others. It is useless to speak of positive morals so long as 
faith has not entered the soul. My evasive answers on their manners and habits some 
times did not fully satisfy them. I often told them that when I should better understand 
their customs, and they should be better instructed in the true religion, then I would 
explain everything to them. But I could scarcely restrain their eagerness. They 
returned again and again to the charge. They wished to profit by the time they had 
the Bishop among them to get decisions on all points. 

At Moeraki they often asked me what I thought of their dances, of which they 
were very fond. But I put oft my decision on that point to a future time, for the reasons 
I have just given. One day an opportunity presented itself for a dance of the whole 
people to be held. I profited by this to retire apart and recite my breviary. But I had 
not been long engaged in this exercise when two young chiefs, about twenty years of 
age, came to beg of me to come and see their dance and to thoroughly examine it, so that 
I might be able to tell them whether it was good or bad. I could not escape their 
solicitation. They led me to the sea-shore to a little bay, on the beach of which they 
danced. It was a short mile distant from where I had been reciting my office. There I 
witnessed a dance of about eighty persons, who leaped gaily, making many gestures. 
The young fellows, the girls, the men and the women, were mixed together in several 
lines in regular order, and showed great uniformity in their movements. They were half 
naked, but nothing actually thoroughly immodest came under my notice. A group of 
young men and young girls, a little apart, sang to diiect and animate those who danced. 


After considering attentively for some moments all this joyous crowd, the young men 
who had sought me out, and who stood on either side of me, frequently endeavoured to 
read in my face what I thought of their games and their festival. They said to me 
several times : " Thou seest now, Bishop, of what our dance consists ; is it good or is it 
bad ? Tell us thy thoughts." But I did not satisfy them. At one time I told them 
that I did not understand the meaning of their gestures or of their song, which was 
almost unintelligible to themselves from the way in which they divided the syllables of the 
words to tit the music. At another time I told them that I would write out the songs 
they used from their dictation, and would then give them my decision. They listened 
to my evasive answers and left me in peace, but kept me all the time a spectator of their 
dance. After a few seconds had elapsed, they returned to the charge and begged for my 
decision, repeating their question : " Bishop, is it good or is it bad ( Thou seest now all 
there is in it." Then I replied as before, that I could understand neither their song nor 
their gestures. " As to the song," they answered, "we assure thee, Bishop, that there 
are no bad (obscene) words in it." "Well," I replied, "explain to me now the meaning 
of the numerous gestures the dancers make." They at once told me, with the greatest 
simplicity, the meaning of these gestures, which represented in reality the obscene festivals 
of ancient Greek and Kunian paganism. They had scarcely explained to me their 
meaning, when they perceived in my countenance an expression of displeasure and grief ; 
and grace moving their hearts, they felt at once that the dance was bad, and then 1 did 
not hesitate to affirm positively that it was so. This was all they wished to be assured 
of. So soon as 1 had said the words, " That is bad," so soon the two young men left me, 
and running towards the crowd of dancers cried aloud, " The Bishop has just said that 
our dance is bad," and immediately the whole crowd stopped dancing. The dancers, 
men and women, broke their ranks ; they surrounded me to offer excuses for the 
ignorance of their forefathers who had bequeathed to them the customs of these festivals, 
of which they now felt the impropriety through the visit which I had paid them and the 
instructions I had given. Some expressed their gratitude and affection for the patience 
and the trouble I must have had in my labours among them, and all showed themselves 
contented with the act of docility they had just shown and the pains I was taking to lead 
them during their infancy in the paths of salvation. How deeply thankful I was 
inwardly at beholding the powers of grace in these simple hearts, and yet these people 
had only had five or six days teaching in religion. Before that, they knew neither the 
true God nor the true Church, and had never seen the face of a Catholic priest. 

A few days afterwards I left these interesting people, promising them a missionary 
for themselves by-and-by, who would come and visit them frequently from Otago, where 
a station would be established. In the meantime I proposed to some of the chiefs that 
they should confide to me their young sons to be taken in my missionary schooner to 
Akaroa, where I would have them taught. This proposition was taken into grave 
consideration on the eve of my departure, and agreed to. Alas, I had but one regret; it 
was not possessing sufficient means to clothe and feed in our establishment all those who 
wished to follow us. Prudence compelled me to limit the number of pupils received. 

I took only three young men of the nobility of Moeraki and Otago. The 
youngest was from ten to eleven years old ; he was the son of one of the greatest chiefs 
of Moeraki, and his face was full of intelligence and amiability. As I was on the point 
of starting, the father and family of this child went with me to the river bank with the 
crowd, recommending the child to my care, and showing me much gratitude for taking 
him and becoming as a father to him. His mother was dead. His father, who was already 
considerably aged, had been the chief pagan priest before the conversion of the people to 
the Catholic faith. He was well-informed in Maori traditions, and did not submit to the 
teaching of the Church till after having held with me a long religious conference in the 
presence of the aristocracy of the tribes of Moeraki. When we were at the river bank 
and I held out my hand to him, saying farewell, he appeared quite overcome with 
affection and regard. He held my hand in his saying these few words, " Bishop, let 
Porure (the name of his son) be thy son, love him well, be to him a father. Let him be 
always witli thee wheresoever thou goest ; never quit him, and bring him back one day 


before I die. I am poor, I have nothing to offer thee as a present that is what pains 
me. We can give thee only the love of our hearts. Farewell, Bishop farewell !" As he 
finished these words I saw him searching for something about him. He had brought 
with him all he possessed that he deemed most precious ; it was five or six shillings in 
English money, which he had kept as a treasure in his house, I know not how many 
years. He had kept these shillings wrapped up in a small piece of linen. He unfolded 
it before me, took out the pieces of money and offered them to me. I refused them in 
such a manner as not to wound his feelings, and thanked him greatly both for the speech 
he had made and the generosity he displayed (generosity of little account in a white man, 
but very great for a native, who desires to give all he holds most precious to his bene 
factor). But he insisted on my accepting his offer. He took my hand forcibly, opened 
it and closed it upon the pieces of money which lie placed in it. T could not, even while 
smiling, help admiring the freedom which affection and paternal gratitude displayed in 
this chief of a tribe of savages. When one hears strangers declare that the Maoris have 
no sensibility or gratitude one is surprised at their mistake, and can but conclude that 
strangers do not too often give the Maoris cause to be grateful to them. But let us finish 
the story I have gone away from. The people witnessed this little friendly strife with 
the chief, and seemed pleased with his victory. But T resumed my gravity, and whilst 
holding the money in my fingers made a short speech. The drift of this address was to 
show them that I did not come among them to carry away money ; that the ministers of 
the true (Jod did not seek after the riches of this earth, but after those of Heaven, after 
a life of light and joys that were eternal there ; that all their happiness here below was 
to make men participators in it by means of preaching and the sacraments of salvation ; 
that 1 deemed myself very happy to make known to them the true God, our Father who 
is in Heaven, Jesus Christ His Son, our Saviour, and Mary the Virgin Mother, who gave 
Him to the world ; that the whole of my treasure consisted even in their conversion 
to the true faith, their advancement and perseverance in well-doing ; and, lastly, that I did 
not wish to carry away from their tribes anything but the affection of their hearts and the 
children they had confided to me and made mine, and whom I loved as a father equally as 
much as their own parents and relations could love them. In saying these words, I 
returned the pieces of money to the chief, which he had forced into my hand, advising him 
to make use of them in the purchase of some stuffs for his own use. He took them back, 
seeing the repugnance I had shown to keeping them, and we left the people standing on 
the shore, who repeated unceasingly their farewells and wishes for a prosperous voyage. 

In a few days we were at Akaroa, where T installed Father Comte in his position 
as rector of this station ; I joined to him Father Tripe who was to work specially for 
the salvation of the whites in this Bay. As to Father Comte, who could speak Maori, 
he was charged particularly with the care of the natives T confided to him some of the 
young people 1 had on board my schooner, and a few days afterwards set sail for Port 
Nicholson, accompanied by Father Pesant, who was now able to speak a little Maori. 

Port Nicholson is a vast bay on the north coast of Cook s Strait, about eighty leagues 
from Akaroa. We arrived in this port on Christmas Eve, 1840. There is a rising town 
of about three thousand five hundred Europeans, among whom are some hundreds of Irish 
Catholics, who greatly desired to receive the succours of a legitimate consecrated minister. 
There were also at Port Nicholson and in its neighbourhood several populous tribes of 
natives. For more than a year, two Protestant missionary stations had been established 
there and had a number of proselytes. For such is the good disposition of the people of 
Polynesia towards the Christian religion, that when there was no Catholic ministry from 
which to receive the true doctrine, they went to seek it among the Protestants with the 
alterations they had made in it. How pad for a Bishop .011 his mission to see sects 
separated from the Church with more labourers and greater resources than himself who 
had come to the country in the name of the great body of Catholic Christians. 

The day after my arrival I said Holy Mass in a house which the Catholic magistrate 
lent me for that purpose. All the Catholics and a large number of Protestants assisted 
at it. T gave them all :m instruction in English. Several nathes also came to witness 
the ceremonies of the Mother Church, of which they .knew moie by the falsehoods they 


had heard against her, than by the truths that characterise her legitimacy and her 
divinity. As the missionary who accompanied me was not sufficiently well versed in 
either English or Maori, I exercised alone the holy ministry in my pastoral visits, in 
which I applied myself to making known the true Church and the principal truths of, 
salvation, and held out the hope of being soon able to send them a resident Catholic priest. 

We remained ten days at Port Nicholson. There I heard the confessions of the 
whites belonging to the faith, conferred baptism on their children, blessed the marriages 
that had not been celebrated by a Catholic minister, and also gave contirmation to a 
certain number of persons whom I had prepared. All the whites belonging to the faith 
showed much eagerness and zeal in profiting by the aids of salvation. I gathered them 
together at the end of my visit in a large room, and they opened a subscription for the 
erection of a church. The representative of the English society was present ; lie gave 
also a handsome subscription and made a gift of a piece of land for the establishment of 
the Catholic mission. All the best Protestant society in this town showed great civility 
and kindness to the Catholic Bishop. 

After having left at Port Nicholson a pious and well-informed white catechist in the 
person of Dr. Fitzgerald, I set sail for Akaroa, from whence T desired to take some young 
men to the Bay of Islands, and where I had still to visit the native tribes in the neighbour 
hood of Banks Peninsula. Our voyage from Port Nicholson was rapid and pleasant. 

I rested myself for a while in this Bay, where I employed myself in writing a Maori 
catechism for the use of the missionaries and the people of the South Island and the 
whole of New Zealand. Then I left in the missionary schooner with Father Comte and 
Father Pesant for Port Cooper, where we arrived at tjie end of three days. The people 
gave us a good reception. The principal chief and his family were the first to register 
themselves on the list of Catholic catechumens. Thpy quickly obtained a knowledge of 
the true God and of the true Church, and I left Father Comte there with instructions to 
remain a fortnight and then to return to Akaroa through the interior of the peninsula. 

As to Father Pesant and myself, we started in the missionary schooner for Terakeko, 
near the East Cape of the North Island, about one hundred and fifty leagues from Banks 
Peninsula. It was nearly a year since the people of Terakeko had sent one of their 
chiefs to Taurana to ask me to come and visit them and establish the Catholic religion, 

O f O 

so on my arrival- they received me with much eagerness and joy. Instructions >vere 
given them, little books were distributed, and Holy Mass was celebrated before the hut 
of the chief. They asked me to choose a piece of land to build a chapel on for them, 
and a residence for a missionary. I could only stay at this place for about three days, 
but left these people with a knowledge of the principal truths of salvation and in the 
practice of morning and evening prayers. 

There was already, before my arrival in this country, a station of Protestant ministers 
about five or six leagues from the settlement on the continent, and in Tauranga Bay. 
This station had been in existence more than a year, and had a certain number of 
disciples at Terakeko, who used their endeavours to prevent my introduction into this 
country. But the chief Tohi, who with his tribe had invited me at Tauranga, showed 
great energy and conducted me unmolested to his settlement. Now, through the con 
version of his influential tribe, that of a great number of other tribes on the continent 
was assured me. I left the natives in a state of encouragement, and in the hope of 
possessing a mission station for themselves and for the tribes, their allies on the continent. 



Keturn to Kororareka Renewed Mission Work Establishment of the Station at Auckland 
Voyage to Tauranga-A Station planted at Matamata Visits to Maketu, Rotorua, and 

SET sail for the Bay of Islands in March, 1S41, from whence I had been gone 
six months. Our voyage was prosperous, and we arrived at my place of 
residence at the end of eight days ; it was the end of March. 

I saw this station once more with pleasure ; it had been carried on under the 
direction of Father Petit. I rejoiced in the Lord, together with the members of this 
principal establishment, over the work of salvation which had been accomplished in favour 
of the people I had just visited. How useful the mission schooner, the Sanctti Maria, 
had been in carrying the Word of God with promptitude and success. The vessel was a 
veritable travelling mission station : it was more than a frigate or a fleet against heresy 
and infidelity. In six months about a thousand leagues had been traversed. How many 
native tribes had seen the light of salvation ! And besides, the fact of the Catholic Bishop 
possessing a missionary vessel encouraged all the people to follow the Catholic Church. 
Through it they saw that the Church had at heart the desire to bring them the help of 
the faith, and that she occupied herself effectually about their salvation. So when this 
vessel entered the ports of Oceania, with its white flag floating from the top of the mast, 
and on whicli was displayed a large blue cross with the monogram of Mary, all the people 
rejoiced, and prepared to give an honourable reception to the Catholic Bishop, and to 
profit by his pastoral visit. 

\\ liile I was at the Bay of Islands I learned from the Sydney newspapers the happy 
news that a shipment of people and funds had taken place at Lyons ; that these people 
were in London ready to embark for New Zealand. This news filled my soul with 
consolation ; for the labours of the voyage that the Vicar Apostolic had made in the 
south of this archipelago disclosed the spiritual wants of these people, who everywhere 
required Catholic missionaries; and after the heavy costs the mission had imposed in its 
development, it is easy to understand that fresh funds were much needed. More than a 
year had elapsed since 1 had received any news from Europe. 

At length in the mouth of June, 1S41, the expected people arrived at the Bay of 
Islands. They were Fathers Seon, Garin, Borgeon, Rozet, and M. Rouleaux, together 
with six catechist brothers. This reinforcement of people increased the confidence of the 
native tribes more and more in the Catholic minister. How many people rejoiced that 
they were about to be assisted in their salvation. 

Several weeks before, chiefs from Terakeko and the Bay of Plenty that is to say, 
about a hundred and fifty leagues distant had come to the Bay of Islands to obtain 
from me some missionaries to instruct them, as I had told them priests would soon reach 
me from Europe. These chiefs remained in the country, waiting, saying that they would 
take upon themselves to conduct the priests to their tribes, and teach them their 
language. It was difficult for me to resist their demands, which were pressed with such 
praiseworthy eagerness. 

So, at the end of the month of July, after having given the new missionaries information 
on the work of the mission and grammatical notes on the language of the country, I 
provisioned the Sancta Maria, and embarked with five priests and three or four catechists 
to make a fresh voyage round the coasts of New Zealand, and a pastoral visit to Wall is 


and Futuna and to the Friendly Islands. The chiefs who had been waiting at the Bay of 
Islands begged me to take them on board to go to their tribes with the priests who were 
destined for them. During the voyage, morning and evening prayers were said, and 
instructions in religion regularly given on board to some fifteen native passengers. 

The first place we anchored at was Auckland or Waitemata. We stayed there live 
or six days. The English Colonial authority had its headquarters in Auckland. This 
town contained about three thousand English emigrants. The majority of them were 
Protestants of various sects. Two or three Protestant ministers had been on the spot 
since the founding of the town, which was not yet a year old. There were about three 
or four hundred Catholics, nearly all composed of Irish people. I gathered them 
together in a house in the town, and I gave them Holy Mass twice during my stay. In 
their assemblies, over which I presided, these faithful people showed great attachment 
to the legitimate minister, and great zeal in co-operating for the establishment of a 
Catholic mission in Auckland. They made a subscription for the construction of a 
temporary wooden church and a residence for the priest. The Colonial Administration, 
in the person of the English Governor, received the Catholic Bishop with civility and 
kindness, and showed himself well disposed towards his minister. He gave a small piece 
of land for a mission station and for a cemetery for the faithful. 

In Auckland itself there were no natives ; one met only a few tribes in the neigh 
bourhood and at a certain distance. The principal chiefs came to visit me and requested 
a Catholic minister for themselves and their people. The station at Auckland was placed 
under the patronage of St. Patrick. 

I promised a priest to the white people and to the natives. He was to come in 
about two or three months when the residence they undertook to build for him should 
be finished and after he had accompanied me in the pastoral visit I was about to make. 
Before leaving Auckland I baptized some of the children of the European faithful and 
confirmed them. 

I left all the Catholics of this town in a state of encouragement as to their salvation, 
and set sail for the Bay of Coromandel which is about thirty miles from Auckland. On 
our way in the Gulf of Hauraki we met some shipwrecked men on the shore of the island 
of Wailieke, who asked for the assistance of my mission vessel to raise their sunken 
schooner, the tops of the masts of which could be seen on the surface of the water. I 
acceded to their request, my captain undertook the work necessary to raise the schooner, 
and after half a day s work, she was afloat and set sail. 

We stopped about two days at the Bay of Coromandel. There were two white 
families of Catholics, and the sncraments of penance, marriage, and the Holy Eucharist 
were conferred at a Mass I celebrated in the house of one of these families. 

Several tribes in this vast bay, who had been converted to the Catholic Church more 
than a year and a half ago, and who were already beginning to be discouraged at not 
having been assisted by the ministrations of one of my missionaries, felt their hopes 
rekindle in seeing once more the Catholic Bishop with several priests, and also on learning 
that a priest was to be stationed at Auckland and would visit them frequently. In the 
meantime, prayer-books, books of instruction, medals and rosaries were distributed, and 
we left these people full of hope for their salvation. 

Then I set sail for the Bay of Tauranga. I intended during this voyage to celebrate 
the fete of the Assumption in the island of Aotea, which is on the way ; but owing to 
contrary winds we could not reach there. I cast anchor, therefore, in a little bay on the 
continent, not far distant from that island. There I celebrated Holy Mass on board the 
tiancta Maria. Four or five of our native passengers, who had been instructed during the 
voyage, received holy baptism and continuation. 

The next day we arrived at the Bay of Tauranga, to the great joy of the people of 
that place. I visited all the tribes there three or four days. I also conferred baptism 
and confirmation on a certain number of native catechumens. This mission station had 
been for some months confided to Father Pesant in place of Father Viard, who had been 
stationed there before him, and whom I had sent for to create him Grand Vicar of tny 


Before quitting Tauranga I deputed Father Seon to Matamata, under the direction 
of Fatlier Baty, in order to teach the people there who had been expecting a priest for 
more than a year and a half. Matamata is situated in the interior of the island, about 
fourteen or fifteen leagues from Tauranga. This station was placed under the patronage; 
of the Holy Guardian Angels. 

While these two priests went to fulfil their mission at Matamata I hove up the 
anchor of the tiancta Maria, and sailed with Fatlier Viard for Maketu. There I disem 
barked the chief Tangar.ia and his followers, and landed myself with Father Borgeon and 
the catechist, Brother Justin. Nearly all the people belonging to this tribe were away. 
They had gone to seek provisions from some tribes, their allies, about twenty leagues 
distant. I found at Maketu a Catholic chapel very well made of reeds and a house of 
the same material for the priest whom they expected. The day after my arrival I sent 
the tiancta Maria back to Tauranga. I baptized, confirmed, and married the wife of 
Tangaroa, and, accompanied by Father Viard, I left to visit the tribes of Rotorua. As 
to Father Borgeon and Brother Justin I left them at Maketu at the new station that had 
just been inaugurated under the patronage of St. Joachim and St. Anne. I was con 
ducted on my journey to Rotorua by chiefs of great distinction and renowned for their 
former wars and cannibalism. They treated us with the greatest cordiality and good 
will. AYe encountered tribes on our way who had never seen the face of a Catholic 
priest and who had only one little mission book, and yet who recited word for word the 
catechism and morning and evening prayers without a single mistake. I gave them 
several other books and announced the ministration of the new missionary at Maketu 
which was to include them. These people heard the news with great joy, and they 
set to work to construct a reed house to entertain him hospitably during his pastoral 

On continuing our journey towards Rotorua, we found several tribes of infidels who 
also sought for the teachings of the Motner Church ; but native Protestant catechists had 
already been among them. I had to uphold against them the legitimacy of the church 
and of the truths of the faith. Public conferences took place between them and me, and 
their ignorance and rambling statements damaged their cause and confirmed the people 
in their desire for the teaching of the Catholic Church. 

On my arrival at Rotorua I saw with pleasure the great chief Korokai with a 
following of three to four hundred natives. These people, as well as the tribes we had 
just visited, had nearly all used the Catholic prayers for more than a year. The nephew 
of a leading chief of this tribe who was married, and who had great influence over that 
part of the country, and also for a considerable distance, found himself providentially at 
Whakatane whilst I was preaching our holy religion. There he had listened to the 
instructions I had given, and had asked me for prayer-books, books of instruction, and 
medals, begging me to send him a missionary priest to instruct all the people under him. I 
did not fail then to encourage his hopes, and gave him a certain number of the books he asked 
for. This young chief was called Tupara. On returning to his tribe he filled the functions 
of an apostle ; he told all that he had heard, and gave to each tribe one of the books. 
This explains how that for more than a year these people knew their catechism and said 
Catholic prayers. I remained five or six days at Rotorua. I celebrated Holy Mass there 
several times, conferred baptism and confirmation on four or five children of the principal 
chiefs, announced to the people the ministration of Father Borgeon, who would frequently 
visit them, and I left them all in the hope of salvation. 

There was an Anglican Protestant mission station on the banks of Lake Rotorua. 
At the request of the people I had a public conference with the Protestant minister of 
this station. On that occasion the feebleness of Protestantism was brought to light, and 
the truth of the doctrine of the Mother Church made a fresh impression on all minds. 
All the people of the neighbouring tribes proclaimed the great victory that this Church 
had just gained. At length we lefc these people in an excellent disposition, and at the 
end of two days we were back at Tauranga, where the Sancta Maria lay at anchor 
waiting for us. 

I hastened to set sail to visit the tribes of Whakatane, where we arrived a day after 


leaving. There I baptized and confirmed about nine natives, and gave the nuptial 
blessing to an alliance between a white man and a native woman. 

From thence we went to Opotiki, which we reached in less than a day. All these 
people had been waiting for a missionary for more than ten months. I left them Father 
llozet with a white servant. These people were filled with joy ; for my part I admired 
their constancy to the principles of the Mother Church. For more than a year there had 
been an Anglican missionary station among them, and the natives of Opotiki were 
frequently assailed by the Protestant minister who resided in those parts with objections 
against the Catholic faith. Nevertheless, hardly one of the members of these tribes had 
been drawn into heresy. 

From Opotiki we went to the peninsula of Terekako, our voyage only lasting three 
days. The chief Tola and the people of his tribe received us eagerly. I left them Father 
Katy for some months ; a residence had been constructed by these people for the Catholic 
missionary whom they expected ; they were well disposed to receive the Word of God, so 
that before a year had past Father Baty had baptized about ninety catechumens. 

After a stay of a day and a-half at Terekako, 1 gave the captain instructions to take 
us to Banks Peninsula, where we arrived at the end of five or six days. We cast anchor 
in the Bay of Akaroa. The French naval authorities received the Catholic Bishop with 
great respect and distinction. 


Murder of F. Chanel at Futuna The Bishop Visits the Tropical Archipelago Departure from 
Akaroa for Friendly Islands Father Viard sent in the Allltr to Futuna Five Months 
Stay of the Bishop at Wallis Stay at Futuna Departure for Fiji Founding of a 
Mission at Tongatabu Visit to Vavau and Wallis Island. 

JFTER I had been some days at Akaroa, two French corvettes came to the 
anchorage, the Heroine and the Allier. The former had called at the Bay of 
Islands, and the commander brought me a letter which informed me that Father 
Chanel, one of my Provicars at Futuna, had been massacred by the-order of the king of 
that island ; that in consequence the mission established in that place was going to ruin, 
and the mission at Wallis Island was also in the greatest peril. It was further reported 
that the death of Father Chanel had taken place in the month of April in the year 1841. 
On receiving this news I saw the importance of hastening my pastoral visit to these 
islands and the Friendly Islands. 

I communicated to Captain La van d all the difficulties of the position in which I was 
placed, and asked him, in the name of the Minister of the Royal Navy, for the assistance 
of one of the three corvettes that were on the coast, to visit the Friendly Islands and to 
withdraw my missionaries from Wallis if the people proved themselves unworthy of them. 
Captain Lavaud complied with all my demands with the greatest kindness. He placed 
the corvette the Allier in a manner at my disposal, giving the requisite instructions to 
Captain Bouset, who commanded her. This corvette and my mission schooner, which 
she accompanied, quickly set sail for the tropical islands. I had Father Viard with me. 


According to an account sent to the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda, dated 
14th November, 1X41, I left New Zealand with one hundred and sixty-four tribes 
embracing the Catholic faith, which meant about forty-five thousand catechumens and a 
thousand neophytes. 

We left Akaroa with the Sancta Maria and the corvette the A Hit r towards the end of 
November. The first stoppage we made was at the harbour of refuge in the Island of Vavau. 
It was Christinas time, and I celebrated the Holy Offices with great solemnity 011 board the 
Allie.r, which was anchored off the shore. The commander, M. Bouset, rendered the 
Catholic Bishop military honours off this island, firing a salvo of artillery ; then lie called 
together all the chiefs of the tribes to a great meeting on shore, where, with dignity, 
loyalty, and firmness, he read them a well deserved lesson on civilisation. He reproached 
them with the civil intolerance (imposed by the Methodist missionaries) they had shown 
me nearly four years before, in refusing to allow me to stay on their island. He exacted 
from them that, for the future, they should not behave in a like manner to any French 
subject, whosoever he might be. All the chiefs received the advice of the noble com 
mander with docility. 

After a few days had elapsed our two vessels set sail for the Island of "Wall is. I 
was received with distinction on board the Allier for this voyage. Before four days we 
were at the anchorage of Wallis. There I soon learned from Fathers Bataillon and 
Chevron the difficulties that beset their station, and the sufferings and persecutions they 
had endured. However, the grace of the Lord had fertilised their labours, and afforded 
grounds for consolation. There were a great number of catechumens in the island. But 
one of the most influential chiefs in Wallis prevented the baptism of the natives converted 
to the faith, and he used every effort to drive the two Catholic missionaries from the 
island, to the great displeasure of many of the natives. 

The appearance of the Catholic Bishop and the presence of the power of France in 
the corvette Allier, made a salutary impression on all the tribes and all the chiefs of this 
island. I celebrated a solemn Mass on shore in a church made of reeds, at which the 
King of Wallis and many of the chiefs and people assisted, as did also Captain Bouset 
with his staff and part of his crew. 

However, after passing five or six days at Wallis, I saw that the difficulties of the 
mission were not overcome. The chief who had prevented the baptizing of the cate 
chumens continued obstinate. Fathers Bataillon and Chevron asked me either to remain 
some months in this island or to take them away with me to some other people. 

Then I decided to remain with my missionaries. I gave instructions to Father Viard 
to go and visit Futuna and sound the disposition of the people. He was accompanied by 
a chief of that island, who was a catechumen at W T allis, and able to give the first instruc 
tions in the faith to infidels. I gave him also all the spiritual powers necessary for a cate- 
chist. Lastly, I begged Captain Bouset to take his corvette to Futuna, and gather 
together the remains of Father Chanel, and to shed no blood in satisfaction of the crime 
that had been committed against his person. Everything was done as I asked. The 
remains of Father Chanel were given by the commander to Father Viard ; the catechist 
chief, named Sam, was left on the island, and at the end of three or four months he had 
converted the whole island. 

During this time the Sancta Maria left for the Bay of Islands to bring provisions, 
and come back and fetch me from Wallis. As to the corvette the Allier, her mission was 
concluded, and she returned to Akaroa, to Captain Lavaud, commander of the French 

During this time I remained at Wallis, where I laboured with Fathers Bataillon 
and Chevron. After a stay of three weeks I was able to preach and hear confessions in 
the language of these people. I had gained the good-will of the chief who had opposed 
the baptism of the inhabitants of Wallis ; every liberty was. accorded me to exercise 
the ministrations of salvation in their behalf. I hastened the instruction in the necessary 
means for salvation, and at the end of four months and a-half all the people on the island, 
to the number of two thousand seven hundred, were baptized and confirmed. There 
were only five or six who put off the work of their salvation and were not baptized. But 


the king of the island and his family were among the neophytes. A large mission cross 
was solemnly erected on the royal grounds ; a great number of new neophytes in this 
island were instructed in the mysteries of the Holy Eucharist and made their first 

In the last days of April, 1842, the ftancta Maria arrived with Father Viard on 
board. In this manner the mission at Wallis was provisioned and strengthened by 
another priest, who was my Grand Vicar. I placed him on this island in charge of all 
the tropical missions and hastened to go and pay a visit to the island of Futuna and the 
Friendly Islands. 

I took with me Father Chevron, Father Servant and Father Eouleau, with the 
catechist brothers Marie Nisierand Atalle. The two latter priests had been brought to 
me from New Zealand by the Sancta Maria. The King of Wallis, with forty-five of 
the nobles of the island, wished to accompany me on my voyage ; he put provisions on 
board for himself and his companions, and I took him with pleasure as a passenger. 

The first island we touched at was Futuna, where we stayed about ten days. There 
I found the catechist Sam and the people quite changed. In the whole island they knew 
the necessary truths of religion and said morning and evening prayer. The king who 
had persecuted Father Chanel was dead of a sudden illness. All the people waited for 
the visit of the Catholic Bishop to elect among them a new sovereign. Without mixing 
myself in politics I advised them to choose from amongst themselves a chief who would 
be good for the true Cod, good for the native people and good for strangers who should 
have dealings with them. Then, in my presence, all the chiefs of the island elected the 
catechist Sam to be king of all the island. Now, without interfering in their choice, I 
showed my satisfaction and I left them Fathers Servant and Rouleau, as missionaries, 
and the catechist Marie Nisier under the special protection of the new king. 

During my visit I went to visit the spot where Father Chanel had been immolated. 
I celebrated Holy Mass there, gave an instruction to the people, and erected a large 
wooded cross, which I solemnly blessed. 

There were a great number of catechumens who asked to be baptized. We 
instructed them and made them undergo a preparatory examination. We found that 
one hundred and seventeen were tit to be admitted to this august sacrifice. I then 
baptized them all and gave them confirmation. The new king, Sam, his wife and his 
young daughter, were the first to receive these celestial favours ; these three distinguished 
neophytes received at my mass, Holy Communion for the first time. 

I hastened then to take my departure for Fiji. More than thirty natives of 
Tongatabu, who had become Catholic neophytes in the island of Wallis, where they 
had been living for some years, accompanied us in a large canoe. Their desires were in 
conformity with mine for the success of the Catholic mission. They wished to return to 
Tongatabu, their home, and begged of me, with much earnestness, to jjive them at least 
one priest and one catechist to sustain them in the practice of salvation and to endeavour 
to obtain the conversion of all their island. How I congratulated myself on having a 
vessel at my disposal to take advantage of such favourable circumstances. 

In less than four days we entered the archipelago of Fiji. We dropped anchor first 
at the island of Oneata and afterwards at one of the principal places, called Lakemba. 
We found in these islands several Methodist missionary stations, established for some 
years, and complaining greatly of the barren results of their labour. I met at Lakemba 
a chief of the greatest influence. He was governor of the whole archipelago and happened 
to be at Lakemba on his travels. The names of the true God and the true Church were 
taught him in our meetings and friendly conversations. Priests of the Mother Church 
were also eagerly asked for by these people and this chief, but I could only promise to 
comply with their desires at a future date not far distant. I was able, however, to leave 
them a native catechist called Mosese, who had lived in the island of Wallis and whose 
father and mother were at Lakemba. 

Two motives had brought me to this place. The first was to make the true Church 
known there and to leave the hope of salvation ; the second was to satisfy the wishes of 
the king of Wallis, who in accompanying me on my missionary journey had begged me 


to seek for his brother, whom with a number of followers he wished to bring back to his 
state. Now these natives, who had been absent from Wallis for about two years, ought 
to be found on one of the Fiji Islands or else on the Friendly Islands. During our stay 
at Lakemba we learned that the brother of the king and his followers had left the 
archipelago of Fiji and gone to Tongatabu or Vavau. 

1 met also at Lakemba infidel natives from Tongatabu. They came to see me on 
board the schooner, and begged me earnestly to come and see their tribes, and to use 
their own expression- to bring there the true word of the great God of the world. 

From the circumstances I have just related, it was plain to see that the hour of 
salvation had arrived for the people of Tongatabu. Their island is the queen of the 
neighbouring archipelagoes. I started then for this place, and arrived there after five 
days sail. 

Tongatabu, according to reliable information, contained twelve thousand souls. 
Eleven thousand were still infidels and about a thousand followed the teaching of the two 
or three Methodist missionaries who had been established in this island for more than ten 
years. My visit lasted ten days. The thirty or thirty-five Catholic neophytes at Tongatabu 
were sent back to their homes. I exchanged several visits with the principal chiefs of 
the island. Heresy became alarmed at this. She threatened to burn our vessel which 
was at anchor, and to fire on the boats in which we went up the rivers to visit the tribes, 
ut these menaces were unheeded. 1 continued, together with Father Chevron who 
accompanied me, to traverse the entire island. 1 celebrated Holy Mass in the house of 
the grand chief of Bea, where I left Father Chevron and the catechist, Brother Atalle, 
and from that time the Catholic mission was established in the island. 

From Tongatabu we left for Vavau, which we reached at the end of two days, and 
we at length found the chief Poi, brother of the king of Wallis, and all his followers, 
amounting to about fifty-five persons. Nearly all these native travellers had, during 
their emigration, followed the teaching of the Methodist missionaries. However, the 
invitation of the king of Wallis to them to return to their native country, which was 
entirely Catholic, was given them. They consented, and I firm in the hope that they 
would embrace the true faith received them on board as wandering sheep returning to 
the fold. 

At the end of about two days I set sail for Wallis. The new passengers added to 
the company of the king brought the number of natives on board up to over a hundred. 
Favoured by wind and sea, in less than three days we were at anchor on the coast of 
Wallis. The king was teturned to his subjects, and all the chiefs of the nobility to 
their families, and lastly the chief Poi and all his followers were well received by their 

I passed five or six days at Wallis. I blessed God with Father Viard and Father 
Bataillon for all the progress the mission had made in this last two months voyage 
among the neighbouring islands. The king of Wallis and all his followers had in no 
small manner contributed to this success by their good conduct among the people, by the 
edification they gave, and the piety with which they said their morning and evening 
prayers and sang their sacred canticles. 

I learned with much consolation that several months after my departure from 
\Yallis, my hope for the salvation of Poi and his native followers were realised ; they had 
abjured Methodism and embraced the faith of the Mother Church. 



Return to Ne\v Zealand Difficulties of the Mission Sending of the So.itcfa Maria to South 
America Various Pastoral Visits in 1884 A 1 riest and Catechist Drowned by Shipwreck 
Overland Journey to Auckland General Review of the Mission War in New Zealand 
Voyage of the First Bishop to Rome Conclusion. 

JFTER five or six days passed at Wallis, I left for the Bay of Islands, after an 
absence of about fourteen months. I took with me three neophytes from 
Wallis and Tongatabu. We arrived at Kororareka, the head-quarters of my 
administration, on the 26th of August, 1842. I found the New Zealand mission in great 
difficulties in money matters, and consequently in a state of spiritual languor. The 
funds which my administration were awaiting from Europe had been lost in London 
through the failure of the bank that was to transmit them to Oceania. Besides, as the 
means of communication in our far-off country were very irregular, the help that was 
sent after this bankruptcy did not arrive for a long time, and then at disjointed in 
tervals. However, an English bank with Protestant directors, who favoured me with 
their confidence and esteem, saved me from becoming bankrupt myself and the mission 
from falling into ruin, by furnishing me with money cashing drafts that I drew 011 
the funds for the propagation of the faith at Lyons. By these means I saved the 
mission ; and the ministration of all my missionaries in New Zealand resumed its healthy 
course among the native tribes, whose catechumenate had sensibly diminished in number. 
However, the former eagerness of these people, which had relaxed during the Bishop s 
absence, resumed its activity. During the fourteen months I was away several 
conferences had been held between the Protestant ministers and my missionaries. The 
light of truth had appeared, and the people were only discouraged because they had not 
a sufficient number of Catholic priests or enough books of instruction in our holy faith. 

Soon after my arrival at the Bay of Islands I hastened to write a long pastoral 
letter refuting the errors of Protestantism, then I revised my manuscript catechism with 
all the principal prayers for a Christian, and the whole was printed in a few months by 
the mission printing press at the Bay of Islands. All these pamphlets, consisting of two 
thousand copies, were distributed among the Catholic stations in New Zealand. 

Shortly before the printing of these books I had sent the Sancta Maria to Tongatabu 
to take Father Grange there, who was to assist Father Chevron in his work. M. Michel, 
the captain, had my instructions to take the schooner to some port in South America, to 
be sold there for the benefit of the mission. She had rendered great and effectual service 
for more tjian two years and a half, but she was showing signs of age, and my means 
would no longer permit me to incur the expense of her keep, and besides the English 
colony of New Zealand had greatly developed, and furnished me opportunities of making 
use of its trading vessels, so that it was not very difficult for me to hire a schooner when 
wanted to make my missionary journeys. 

After having paid several pastoral visits to Hokianga, Whangaroa, and Kaipara, 
where I was finally able to place a priest and establish a station, I hired a schooner of 
about sixty tons and visited the whole New Zealand mission. The date of my departure 
from the Bay of Islands was February, 1844. I arrived first at Auckland, where I 
blessed the Catholic cemetery and conferred confirmation on a number of the faithful. 

From there I went to Tauranga, where I visited the tribes of that station and con 
ferred baptism and confirmation on the natives. Then I left the schooner that I had 



hired, giving the captain instructions to take her to Opotiki, where 1 intended to re- 
embark. As for myself, I went by land with the two missionaries who accompanied me, 
to visit the tribes who live between Tauranga and Opotiki. I hus we went to Maketu, 
where we found the people using Catholic prayers and requiring all the assistance of the 
minister. The principal chief made the Bishop a present of a tine piece of land on which 
to build the mission church and the missionary s residence. 

From thence we went to the tribes of Tamarakau and Matata, where a certain 
number of nobie catechumens were baptized and confirmed. Two days afterwards, we 
arrived at Whakatane, where the chiefs with eagerness asked for one of the priests who 
accompanied me. They gave five or six acres of land for the establishment of the station 
at this place. I complied with their wishes by leaving them Father Lampilas. The 
people of this tribe had already constructed a tine church of reeds in which they held all 
their religious exercises. I conferred baptism there on several catechumens, who had 
long desired it. In a day s walk I reached Opotiki. The people of this tribe awaited 
the episcopal visit to be baptized and confirmed in great numbers, and their desires were 
satisfied. They also gave a very suitable piece of land for the use of their mission 

I hastened to embark on the schooner, which was lying at anchor near here. I had 
now only one missionary and a catechist to accompany me. We set sail for the tribes 
of the East Cape, where the people had been for some years waiting for a Catholic 
minister ; but alas ! I was compelled to postpone the realisation of their desires. 

From thence we went to Port Nicholson. I found there about two hundred and 
fifty white Catholics, the majority of whom were Irish. The care of their salvation was 
entrusted to Father O Reily. I added to him Father Comte, whom I specially charged 
with the spiritual care of the natives. I spent about three days amidst the people of 
Port Nicholson, where I conferred the sacrament of confirmation. 

Then I sought the assistance of Father O Reily to visit Akaroa, the tribes of Port 
Cooper, the English colonists at Nelson, and the natives of the island of Kapiti, in 
Cook s . Strait. On all these visits the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and 
marriage were conferred. There were several conversions of Protestant families, and 
we were filled with the consolation of the Lord. I took Father O Reily back to Port 
Nicholson, from whence I started alone on my return to the Bay of Islands. 

On my way I called at the peninsula of Terekako, where I stayed for a day and 
a half, and conferred the sacraments of penance and confirmation on the neophytes of 
that place, who had been deprived of a Catholic priest for two years. 

From there the vessel called at several bays on the East Cape. The people 
continued to beg of me to obtain some priests to teach them ; but I could only leave 
them prayer-books and books of instruction. 

These natives gave me the details of the wreck of a schooner, witli the loss of all 
hands, some two years before. Alas ! my schooner floated over the spot where one of 
my missionaries, Father Borgeon, with the catechist, Brother Deodat, had perished in 
the wreck. Nothing had been recovered from the vessel but the windlass, which had 
been washed ashore by the sea. 

I set sail for Whakatane, where I finally left the hired schooner, sending her back 
to the Bay of Islands. For myself, I went on foot to visit the numerous tribes to be 
found in the interior of the island as far as Auckland, where I intended to take my 
passage for the Bay of Islands. So from Whakatane I went to Opotiki, Matata, Te 
Kupenga, and Rotorua, where I had a mission station in charge of Father Reyiiier. 
Then I came back to Tamarakau, Maketu, .and Tauranga. From there I went to the 
tribes of Waikato and Mokau, whom I had confided to the care of Father Pesant, and 
at length, after three months travelling and most consoling work, I arrived at Auckland. 
I made a short stay in this town. Then I hastened to take a passage on board a small 
schooner, in which, on my way to the Bay of Islands, I visited the tribes of Ngunguru. 

Sentiments of great satisfaction and lively affection filled my soul upon returning to 
the Bay of Islands. On the one hand I had the remembrance of the numerous people 
I had just visited, the sacraments that had been conferred on them, the means of 


salvation I had left them, the books of instruction that they had learned by heart, 
and the missionaries and catechists who were labouring for their sanctification. On 
the other hand, I could not forget the inhabitants of the South in Otago, Moeraki, 
Ruapuke, even in Akaroa, who were deprived of missionaries. I had also in my memory 
the numerous people in the southern part of the North Island, who, for want of people, 
could not be helped by the Holy Ministry. Now, in all these places, heresy had either 
mission stations or swarms of catechists to spread their errors and their thousands of 
calumnies against the Catholic Church. Many of the tribes who had formerly joined the 
true Faith, harassed afterwards by the objections of the Protestant ministers, and finding 
themselves, as they fancied, abandoned by the Mother Church, finished by yielding to 
the importunities of heresy, the full power of whose venom they were ignorant of. They 
said to themselves, " The Protestants preach the same God and almost the same truths of 
salvation. If we are unable then to obtain the word of God from the Mother Church, we 
must obtain it from the Protestants. For it is better for us to have this word, though 
imperfectly explained, than to have the darkness of infidelity in which our fathers lived." 
Alas ! fifteen or eighteen thousand natives deprived of Catholic missionaries had for 
these reasons passed over to Protestantism. 

Nevertheless, in April, 1846, we counted on our ecclesiastical registers about five 
thousand who had been baptized, and there were five or six times as many Catholic 
catechumens. But the people remaining true to the faith are only in the vast area 
where they have been assisted by the sacerdotal ministry, and where mission stations 
have been established for them. 

Another great affliction for me was the state of war in which New Zealand was. 
Shortly before my arrival at Kororareka, after the long pastoral visit I had made, the 
Protestant and infidel tribes had risen against the English authorities. The flagstaff at 
the Bay of Islands had been cut down by the natives. Then they gave battle to the 
colonial troops at Kororareka itself. They gained the victory, pillaged the town, and 
reduced it to cinders. Several fights took place between them in the neighbourhood of 
the Bay of Islands, and the hostilities lasted for about fourteen months. 

During all that time the Catholic Bishop and his clergy passed their time in spirit 
between the vestibule and the altar, weeping over the evils that had befallen the people. 
One standard only was in their hands, that of the Cross. Both sides understood our 
spirit of neutrality in political matters, and our desire for peace. So all the ravages of 
the pest of war passed over our heads without touching us ; our missionary establish 
ments remained standing by the side of the ruins and cinders of the unhappy town of 
Kororareka. Peace was at length re-established in the country in January, 1846. 

One of my grand vicars, Father Viard, was consecrated Bishop to be my coadjutor, 
according to the request I had made to the Holy See in past correspondence. In 
accordance with the same correspondence, several other bishops were consecrated some 
time before to share the labours in Western Oceania. Then, after ten years of labouring 
and travelling, the first bishop undertook a voyage to Rome to render there an account 
of everything to the Vicar of Jesus Christ, our Holy Father the Pope ; to make more 
widely known the wants of religion in Oceania, and to watch over and take measures to 
perpetuate the work of salvation in favour of the inhabitants of Oceania. I started from 
New Zealand, which I left in the enjoyment of peace, and under the delegated pastorate 
of Monsignor Viard, my coadjutor. My departure took place at -Banks Peninsula, the 
16th April, 1846, on the French corvette the JRkin, Captain Berard, who gave me a free 
passage, as also to a priest and a servant who accompanied me. I landed at Toulon, on 
the 28th August, and was in Rome on the 14th September, 1846. I hastened to pay my 
homage of veneration in this holy city to the Sovereign Pontiff, in His Holiness, and in 
Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda, and I employed my stay in giving to the supreme 
authority of Jesus Christ in His church all the knowledge I possessed of the Catholic 
religion in Western Oceania. 



Statistics of the Catholic Church in New Zealand on the completion 
of its First Jubilee, January, 1838 January, 1888. 

The Status of the Catholic Church in New Zealand in January, 1838, was as follows : 
1 Vicar Apostolic (the Right Rev. J. B. F. Pompallier), 

1 Priest (the Rev. Father Servant, S.M.) 

2 Religious Brothers, S.M. 

[The number of Catholics in Xe\\ Zealand in 1838 cannot be accurately stated. It is probable 
that they did not reach the number of 100. ] 

The Status of the Catholic Church in New Zealand in January, 1888* : 

4 Bishops (viz., 1 Archbishop and Metropolitan and 3 Suffragan Bishops), governing 
Dioceses, apportioned into 
Districts, with 
Churches, served by 
Priests, of whom 56 belong to the Secular Clergy and 51 to the Regular Clergy. There 

are also 
Religious Brothers and 326 Religious Sisters, conducting the following educational 

establishments : 

Industrial Schools or Orphanages, 
Boarding Schools for Girls, 
Boys Schools, and 
Mixed Schools for Boys and Girls. (Some few of the above schools are conducted by 

Lay Teachers, male and female. ) 
There is a Catholic population of 79,020, out of a total general population, exclusive of Maoris, 
of 578,482 ; or about one-seventh of the whole population. The appended tables show how these 
results are distributed between the four Dioceses : 

The names of the actual Bishops are as follows : 

WELLINGTON. -The Most Rev. Francis Redwood, S.M., D.D., Archbishop. 
AUCKLAND. The Right Rev. John Edmund Luck, O.S.B., D.D. 
DUNEDIN. The Right Rev. Patrick Moran, D.D. 
CHRISTCIH KCII The Right Rev. John J. Grimes, S M., D.D. 





















~^ Reli- 

.2 gious 
s Bros. 

s* , 



Cathol c 

tion ex 
clusive of 

lic Per- 

c nt gc. 









14 27t 




Wellington . . 
Auckland . . 







Hawkes Bay 
Marl borough 
Nelson, part of .. 
















Ind strial; 
Schools j 

3oard ng 


Scbo ls. 




Nelson, part of . . 
Chatham Islands 












Wellington . . 
Auckland . . 






N. Z. Totals 





t The percentage of Catholics to the total popu 
lation is as follows : Wellington, one-eighth ; 
Auckland, one-sixth ; Dunedin, one-eighth ; Christ- 
church, one-seventh ; and the average for the whole 
of New Zealand is therefore about one-seventh. 



5 15 



t Christchurch Magdalene Asylum. 

* Based on the Government Census Returns of 1886. 


Statistics of the Catholic Church in New Zealand on the completion 
of its First Jubilee, January, 1838 January, 1888. 

The Status of the Catholic Church in New Zealand in January, 1838, was as follows : 
1 Vicar Apostolic (the Right Rev. J. B. F. Pompallier), 

1 Priest (the Rev. Father Servant, S.M.) 

2 Religious Brothers, S.M. 

[The number of Catholics in Ne\\ Zealand in 1838 cannot be accurately stated. It is probable 
that they did not reach the number of 100. ] 

The Status of the Catholic Church in New Zealand in January, 1888 s : 

4 Bishops (viz., 1 Archbishop and Metropolitan and 3 Suffragan Bishops), governing 
Dioceses, apportioned into 
Districts, with 
Churches, served by 
Priests, of whom 56 belong to the Secular Clergy and 51 to the Regular Clergy. There 

are also 
Religious Brothers and 326 Religious Sisters, conducting the following educational 

establishments : 

Industrial Schools or Orphanages, 
Boarding Schools for Oirls, 
Boys Schools, and 
Mixed Schools for Boys and (lirls. (Some few of the above schools are conducted by 

Lay Teachers, male and female. ) 
There is a Catholic population of 79,020, out of a total general population, exclusive of Maoris, 
of 578,482 ; or about one-seventh of the whole population. The appended tables show how these 
results are distributed between the four Dioceses : 

The names of the actual Bishops are as follows : 

WELLINGTON. -The Most Rev. Francis Redwood, S.M., D.D., Archbishop. 
AUCKLAND. The Right Rev. John Edmund Luck, O.S.B., D.D. 
DUNEDIN. The Right Rev. Patrick Moran, D.D. 
CHRISTCIH-KCH The Right Rev. John J. Grimes, S M., D.D. 





















~~^ Reli- 
, gious 
s Hros. 

iB ! 



Cathol c 

tion ex 
clusive of 

lic Per- 
c nt gc. 









14 27t 




Wellington. . 
Auckland . . 







Wellington . . 
Hawkes Bay 
Nelson, part of .. 
















[nd strial 
Schools j 

3oard ng 


Scbo ls. 



Nelson, part of . . 
Chatham Islands 








Wellington . . 
Auckland . . 











N. Z. Totals 



13 67t 


I The percentage of Catholics to the total popu 
lation is as follows : Wellington, one-eighth ; 
Auckland, one-sixth; Dunedin, one-eighth; Christ- 
church, one-seventh ; and the average for the whole 
of New Zealand is therefore about one-seventh. 



5 15 



t Christchurch Magdalene Asylum. 

* Based on the Government Census Returns of 1886. 

Porapa^lier, Jean Baptiste 
Fran go is 

Early history of the 
Catholic Church in Oceania